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How could a governor let 4 murderers go free?

  • Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour sparks outrage after pardoning convicted murderers
  • HLN's Vinnie Politan is a former prosector and In Session legal expert
  • Politan calls Barbour's pardons 'ultimate act of cowardice'
How could a governor let 4 murderers go free?

Editor's Note: As a former prosecutor, Vinnie Politan has a passion for investigating wrongdoing and shining a light on injustices. He hosts "HLN Special Report" and "Prime News" and also covers major trials and legal stories for "In Session" on truTV.

For those of you who were outraged by the Casey Anthony jury and what they did, what I am about to tell you is infinitely WORSE. The outgoing governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, has set not one ... not two ... not three ... BUT four convicted murderers free. He pardoned four killers sentenced to life in prison. Those men are now free and among us.

Why did he do it? We don’t know because this politician has not told us.

What we do know is this lame duck governor committed the ultimate act of cowardice. First, he set these men free at the end of his term. He set them free when he knew he would not have to answer questions about it or be held accountable. He just released the cold-blooded convicted killers and walked out the back door of the governor’s mansion. He never publicly took any responsibility or explained why. A move only a coward would make.

But perhaps the most cowardly action by the lame-ducker is what he did not have the courage to do. He never spoke to the victims or their families. He did not explain what he was going to do, when he was going to do it, or why he was going to do it. He did not have the courage to look them in the eyes and say “I am setting your child’s killer free.”

We also know these killers all worked as trustees at the governor’s mansion while incarcerated. I have no idea what they did while they were there, but I am sure they were on their best behavior. I am also sure one of those killers, who shot and killed his 20-year-old former wife at point blank range while she was clutching her six week old baby, did not strike up a conversation about leaving that baby behind, in a pool of blood without a mom.

I understand the almighty pardon power of the lame duck governor. But I also understand that when that power is used for evil, the victims are more than re-victimized, they are shattered. That is what has happened here, and this ex-governor needs to explain himself and be held accountable for his cowardly acts.

I told you it was infinitely worse than the Casey Anthony jury!


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