Man Pardoned by Former Gov. Barbour Accused of Murder
(Jackson, MS) One of the men pardoned by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is back behind bars accused of shooting a man to death.
When he left office a year ago Barbour stirred controversy when he pardoned 203 People.
At the time Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood warned some those pardoned would end up right back in the slammer.
“I said at the time the odds are out of the 200 people he released they are going to hurt somebody,” said Hood.
Hood was the district attorney in Calhoun County who put Wayne Harris behind bars for selling marijuana.
He was sentenced to 20 years, but served a year and was released.
Last January, Harris received a full pardon by former governor Haley Barbour in his last act as governor.
The past year Harris has been living as a freeman with no criminal history, but now he’s back behind bars.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s office tells the Daily Journal Harris got in an argument last week with a man at a cook out and then shot him.
“I hate it for the family of the man that was killed. He had a young daughter, a very smart young lady and it’s just a tragedy that could have been prevented,” said Hood.
Hood says Harris would have never legally had the gun if he hadn’t been pardoned, “He would have never had a gun in his vehicle to go out and get and come back in and shoot someone if Haley Barbour hadn’t given him a pardon. That’s why we keep guns out of the hands of felons.”
Barbour pardoned 203 compared to just seven pardoned by Arkansas governor last year.
Hood says the pardons were never legal because they weren’t made public beforehand.
The Mississippi Supreme Court did not uphold that clause in the state’s constitution.
“Our Supreme Court ducked. They refused to enforce our constitution which required a prerequisite,” said Hood.
Hood vows to put a constitutional amendment before voters in 2015 that would require the courts to enforce the provision.