Former Gov. Haley Barbour has issued a statement about the pardons he issued this week.
Here it is:
"Some people have misunderstood the clemency process and think that all or most of the individuals who received clemency from former Gov. Haley Barbour were in jail at the time of their release.
Approximately 90 percent of these individuals were no longer in custody, and a majority of them had been out for years. The pardons were intended to allow them to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote.
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My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the Parole Board in more than 90 percent of the cases. The 26 people released from custody due to clemency is just slightly more than one-tenth of 1 percent of those incarcerated.
Half of the people who were incarcerated and released were placed on indefinite suspension due to medical reasons because their health care expenses while incarcerated were costing the state so much money. These individuals suffer from severe chronic illnesses, are on dialysis, in wheelchairs or are bedridden. They are not threats to society but if any of them commits an offense even a misdemeanor they ll be returned to custody to serve out their term.
Of the inmates released for medical reasons, a small number were placed on house arrest, and all still remain under the supervision of the Department of Corrections."