Bryant’s comments come amid a firestorm out-going Gov. Haley Barbour created when he granted clemency to more than 200 convicted criminals in his final days in office.
“I have met with Sen. (Michael) Watson, with the speaker of the House and (Speaker Pro tem) Greg Snowden and briefed the lieutenant governor,” Bryant said this morning. “My request is that we restrict to very narrow guidelines the ability to provide pardons or clemency.
A constitutional amendment requires a 3/5 majority vote from the Legislature, then ratification by Mississippi voters.
In a previous post, Clarion Ledger: State Democrats seek changes with pardons , it noted that Rep. David Baria was introducing legislation to stop the practice of 23rd 1/2 hour gubernatorial pardons as well as the inmate trustee program. It was Democratic Leader Bobby Moak and House Democrats who raised issue along with the victims famlies about outgoing Gov. Barbour’s gross misuse of his contsitiutional authority.
It was AG Jim Hood’s defense of the law and MS constitution which led to the halt of release of some 21 of the criminals that had been improperly pardoned.
The MS Republican establishment, following the Reagan commandment, said nothing regarding this story which had taken on a national profile over the past four days…….Then, in rides the calvary..
Boot Scootin’ Bryant has declared today that he along with his Lt. Gov. and legislative leaders are now supporting a constitutional amendment reducing gubernatorial clemency powers. One has to give this bunch some “political points” here because they clearly see that the public along with the Democrats are right on this issue and that the pushback was real and growing.
The new reality is that although the Democrats are on the right side of this issue, and have been from the beginning, it will be an aspirant Republican who will author the legislation which will be passed with GOP majorities in the house and senate and just like that, the problem they created will be the problem they solve..