Fair Protestor Says Outburst Wasn't Politically Motivated - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fair Protestor Says Outburst Wasn't Politically Motivated

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Before becoming the story at the Neshoba County Fair, Linda St. Martin of Gulfport says her thoughts were with Adrienne Klasky.

"I thought it was a travesty of justice. And she can not stand up for herself and say, 'Governor, why have you pardoned my murderer?'" 

So, St. Martin decided to ask the governor for her.

"When I sat down on that bench there on the pavilion at the Neshoba County Fair, I knew that what I should do is just say her name. And so when the governor began to speak, I did. I said Adrienne Klasky, Adrienne Klasky, Adrienne Klasky! I wanted him to answer the question, 'Why have you done this thing?'" 

St. Martin didn't get an answer that day. She said the governor stopped, made a statement about first amendment rights and she was escorted out. 

Publicly, the governor has defended his decision, saying Michael David Graham had an unblemished record while serving 19 years of a life sentence. He's also said Graham was a diligent worker on the grounds of the Governor's Mansion as a trusty, even working around his family. But St. Martin says, that isn't enough to suspend Graham's sentence.

"I don't think cutting the grass at the Governor's Mansion is basis for parole and being released from prison, when the people of Mississippi have very clearly said, 'You're going to prison.'  He has insulted the judicial system," St. Martin said.

St. Martin admits she got resistance from some during her outburst. St. Martin is a member of the state's democratic committee. So WLOX News asked her if her protest was politically motivated.    

"What I did had no political motivation. It was motivated by the fact that I am outraged by the governor's actions. The governor has to answer to the people of this state, and that was my only motivation," St. Martin said.

St. Martin went on to say this wasn't something she planned to do before she got there. She also said she's heard from a number of people who support her for speaking out.

"Since then, so many people have said, 'You will never do that alone again. If you do that again, you let us know. Because we'll come and we'll do it with you.'" 

Barbour's decision to give Graham an "indefinite suspension of sentence" means the decision can still be reversed. Graham stalked Klasky for three years then shot her in the head as she sat at a Pascagoula intersection in 1989.    

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