The allusion between Chaucer’s “Pardoner’s Tale” and the article is accurate. The governor is like the pardoner, he doesn't pardon anyone for his entire first term and no one in his second term until the last minute. The pardoner preached against greed, yet he was handing out “confessions” if you paid. Oh, the hypocrisy of the Medieval Catholic Church.
The article is about the Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour, and his last-minute pardoning. He didn't use his right to pardon at all during in his first term, or most of his second term. However, during his last few months in office, he pardoned over 200 people, most who had been in jail for violent charges. This put the state of Miss. on the defensive. The Attorney General stopped most of the pardons, stating that most to none of them announced 30 days ahead of their intent to get a pardon. The state legislature also planned on passing a bill limiting the governor’s clemency rights. Barbour defended himself, stating that most had finished their sentence, and he only went with the recommendation of the parole board. Usually, pardons wouldn’t get people up into arms. However, most pardons go to people convicted of MINOR crimes, not major offenses like murder, or commuting major sentences. Governors, and even recent presidents, have been wary of using their clemency powers in fear of doing the wrong thing, and starting a controversy.
I have to agree with the article; the governor shouldn’t have released those people. Commuting/pardoning that level of offenses tends to be extremely controversial. It draws attention, and protests from many people, especially the victims and their relatives. In worse-case scenarios, the governor could face other action from other parts of the legislature, like what happened to Barbour. Plus, prison doesn’t always fix the underlying problem, and they’ll just do it again after they’re pardoned. Plus when you’re pardoned, you can buy a gun. What kind of sane person gives a...
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