Surely Montgomery's family was consulted on this prior to the release, right? Or at least they were given a head's up that Barbour was considering releasing the man who murdered their loved one? Nope. According to the story:
On Saturday, Montgomery's nephew said his mother got a call from the Mississippi Department of Corrections, saying Barbour pardoned Ozment.
"Of course it's devastating. You know, we go through this and it's reliving it over again and again when I don't think the general public has any idea of the things these convicts are doing," said Montgomery's nephew, Mark McAbee.This, of course, isn't the first time Barbour has been in hot water over the liberal use of his pardon power. In addition to his weekend pardon of a man who shot his wife while she was holding their child, Barbour also faced heat this past term for moves like pardoning Michael Graham, who shot his ex-wife in the head at close range with a shotgun in front of his former in-law's furniture store. And of course, even those aren't the only ones.
In the wake of the Graham matter, former Rep. Brandon Jones (D-Pascagoula) introduced legislation to limit the Governor's pardon power. That legislation was killed in conference committee after passing both houses in slightly different form. It appears as though a new effort to limit the Governor's power is forthcoming.