Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are the Barbour pardons constitutional?

The following is the provision in the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 that grants governors the pardon power:

§ 124. Reprieves and pardons

In all criminal and penal cases, excepting those of treason and impeachment, the governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the legislature, and by and with the consent of the senate to remit forfeitures. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves, and by and with consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature; but no pardon shall be granted before conviction; and in cases of felony, after conviction no pardon shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have published for thirty days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed, and in case there be no newspaper published in said county, then in an adjoining county, his petition for pardon, setting forth therein the reasons why such pardon should be granted.
Did everyone just miss 200 some-odd pardon petitions published in newspapers around the state? And if the petitions were not printed, what is the procedure for invalidating the pardons?

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