Barbour's pardons draw national spotlight - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Barbour's pardons draw national spotlight

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BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

From drug dealers to murderers and rapists, former Governor Barbour's pardon list is making waves, not only here in Mississippi, but across the nation. 

The speed of news moves really fast, and in the case of this pardon story, incredibly fast.

National news media outlets had the story on their websites Tuesday.

Wednesday they were already in town to report the story.

Governor Barbour's pardons are gripping headlines from coast to coast.

On the Washington Post website, it was the most popular story for most of the day.

On the New York Daily News, one of the most viewed stories.

It's also brought broadcast media outlets to Mississippi.

CNN's Martin Savidge was in Brandon Wednesday morning, talking to the families of victims effected.

"Many viewers began talking to us when they learned obviously the press coming from Mississippi and they realized this was a great injustice and were shocked at the kind of criminals getting the pardons so I think we began reporting it from Atlanta but quickly realized it was a story we had to come to Mississippi," Martin Savidge said. 

Savidge interviewed Randy Walker, who was shot in the head by David Gatlin in 1993.

Gatlin also convicted of murdering Tammy Ellis Gatlin; now a free man, pardoned by the Governor.

"We don't need these guys on the street they were convicted by a jury of their peers one guy didn't put them in jail but one guy can circumvent the entire justice system that's wrong," Walker said. 

David Ruth, a detective who worked the murders also talking to the national media, outraged the man he built a case against, was going free.

"It's just to see them get out then there victims have to go through what they're going through on a daily basis not knowing where these individuals are," Ruth said.

Stories of hundreds of victims, their grief, frustration, and now fears.

Peaking the interest of viewers and readers from across the country.

NBC Reporter Mark Potter was also in Jackson, preparing his story for the NBC Nightly News, set to air the same day.

Some of the victims we talked to say they believe the national spotlight will help with their goal of getting the Governor's pardoning power restricted, to require meetings with victims, prior to a convicts release.

Copyright, WLBT News, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.

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