Thursday, March 8, 2012

Attorney General Jim Hood's statement on the Mississippi Supreme Court's Pardongate opinion; calls for constitutional amendment

The following is from a press release from Attorney General Jim Hood (D) today:

“We do respect the decision of the Court, but feel deeply for how it must weigh on the victims and their families. It is these victims and family members who have lost today and the criminals who have won. As Supreme Court Justice Mike Randolph wrote in his dissent, which was supported by Chief Justice William Waller and Justice Randy Pierce: 'Today’s decision is a stunning victory for some lawless convicted felons, and an immeasurable loss for the law-abiding citizens of our State.'”

"Our lawyers were unanimous that the 30-day publication requirement in Section 124 of the Constitution was clear that the Governor had no authority to grant a pardon unless the records showed that the 30-day requirement was met. It is truly unfortunate that a majority of the Court has stricken from our Constitution a right to notice of a pardon reserved by the people of Mississippi in our 1890 Constitution. I intend to seek an initiative to amend Section 124 of our Constitution to make it very clear that the judicial branch is responsible for enforcing the 30-day notification period in the future. I am calling on all our victims groups, law enforcement and other volunteers to help me obtain the necessary signatures to place the measure on the ballot."

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