South Mississippians weigh in on pardon spree - - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians weigh in on pardon spree


Haley Barbour's pardon spree has made national news and it is certainly on the minds of South Mississippians.

Walking around Edgewater Mall during lunch time Thursday there was plenty of chatter. Retired Army Sgt. Major Bob Schmidt was not shy about his opinion on the 200 plus pardons granted.

"If we had a person like the governor you were talking about in Vietnam, he would be hanging on a branch," Schmidt said.

Schmidt is just visiting Mississippi, but said he is outraged.

"I'm in law enforcement also. I almost lost my life locking people up," Schmidt said. "Some people don't deserve to be on this earth. A lot of people that do, don't make it."

Plenty of people echoed those comments.

Don Dauterive said, "You don't pardon people who are murderers, killers. Why he did it, we don't have the slightest idea."

Lucy Welch agreed, "I truly think the people sentenced in our justice system should serve the price. Releasing people like this, to me, is sort of tragedy for the people who were devastated by the loss."

Others said the issue is not so clear cut.

Rodney Gilner said, "There's two sides to every story, you know. If they wanted them to stay in there forever, they should have given them life without parole. My opinion is they have family members that love them too. "

Gilner also said he believes in second chances.

"If you are being a model prisoner and are doing everything the institution has as far as rehabilitation is concerned, we are not warehousing people. If they are reformed, then why not let them out and give them a chance in society? I think Haley Barbour did good as a governor," Gilner said.

And although Joel Wilson does not agree with the pardons, he said he has faith in our justice system.

"I did see however that a judge has blocked that for certain reasons, so the checks and balances are there for a reason and I'm just going to let the system work itself out," Wilson said.

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