JACKSON -- Attorney General Jim Hood says former Gov. Haley Barbour violated the state Constitution with many of the dozens of pardons he granted convicted criminals in his last days in office.
Hood said that it appears that numerous convicts did not meet the requirement of publishing notice of their request for pardons in the local newspapers where their crimes were committed.
Hood said that five people released over the weekend - four murderers and one robber - are among those who did not meet the publishing requirement.
Hood today is requesting a court halt the release of those who haven't been released from prison so far, and he said he is asking for the five he knows were already released to come into court and prove they met requirements.
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"Unfortunately from everything we found in the law," Hood said, "nothing allows us to go out and arrest them again."
In a meeting with the media, Hood lambasted Barbour. "It is a shame and he ought to be ashamed."
Hood said Barbour's former counsel refused to turn over records on the pardons, but that new Gov. Phil Bryant stepped in and made them cooperate and made the records available.
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