Sunday, July 27, 2008

Barbour frees convicted murderer

When Republicans rule the roost, crime pays.

Michael David Graham was convicted of murdering his former wife in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1989. Graham was sentenced to life imprisonment for the premeditated shooting that occurred at a busy intersection.

But last week, right-wing Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, freed Graham from prison and reduced his sentence to mere probation-style restrictions. You read that right: A man committed a premeditated murder of his former wife in front of dozens of people, and now he walks free under a Republican governor.

Now Barbour is threatening to pardon Graham altogether - thus removing even the restrictions Graham has now.

Democratic State Rep. Brandon Jones, who represents Pascagoula in the legislature, is now exploring legislative options to keep Barbour from abusing his pardon powers.

The Mississippi Constitution gives governors broad powers to suspend sentences and pardon convicts. But what Haley Barbour doing is clearly an abuse of this authority. Barbour is no better than the elder Bush was when he pardoned Iran-Contra traitors.

You mean the Republicans lied when they said they were tough on crime? They're tough on people who get caught with some weed when they're 14 or buy too much allergy medicine, but killers walk free. I guess they have to make room in the prison system for all the small-time drug offenders.



  1. .... What?! Under what grounds? What was his 'reasoning' behind all this? This is bull shit. I'd expect this kind of blatant disregard for the law from someplace like Texas, but Mississippi?

    I have no faith in America. None at all.

  2. Regarding rehabilitation and mercy, we must take into consideration that governors and parole boards are fooled all the time.

    Criminals, can become better people, they can stay the same and they can get worse. Note that even while becoming better, they can still be dangerous.

    If in doubt, Governor, caution should fall on the side protecting the innocent citizens of your state.

    Have respect for the victim and/or their survivors and for the judge or jury that awarded the sentence.

    At the very least, in the future, the Governor should provide an audience to the victims and/or victim survivors prior to any such decision. The investigating police officers and prosecutors should also be consulted.

    As the past decisions have been made, the Governor should now provide that audience. It is the least he can do. It may cause him to reconsider and reverse his decisons.

    Dudley Sharp