Heading into the weekend, the New York Times ran a piece exploring Governor Barbour's personal and political connections to the families of those felons who requested and received pardons. The story draws out several interesting details including a letter from a father of one of the pardon recipients who spent a portion of his plea celebrating the election of two Republican aldermen in Corinth.
After cataloging other notable examples of well connected pardonees, the writers observe:
"...in a state with the highest poverty rate in the nation and where nearly 70 percent of convicts are black, official redemption appears to have been attained disproportionately by white people and the well connected."
The story of Barbour's Pardongate and its impact is still being written. At least one of the subplots is its reinforcement of negative stereotypes of Mississippi. That a cocktail of race, party and cash could free killers early in Mississippi only serves to underscore those parts of our past that we'd rather forget.