Included among the many full, conditional and medical pardons former Gov. Haley Barbour issued Tuesday were 15 convictions stemming from Oktibbeha County.
The fate of many pardons throughout the state is still undecided as the Mississippi Attorney General’s office reviews whether individuals properly issued public notifications in time to receive a Jan. 10 pardon by the outgoing governor.
Mississippi Circuit Judge Tomie Green issued an injunction late Wednesday temporarily blocking the release of a number of convicted felons who received pardons, medical releases or sentence suspensions. The injunction was given at the request of Miss. Attorney General Jim Hood.
Section 124 of the Mississippi Constitution states any person convicted of a felony seeking a pardon must publish a notice of his or her intentions. Before the governor can grant the pardon, the notice must appear for 30 days in a newspaper in or near the county where the person was convicted.
A list of Oktibbeha County convictions pardoned by Gov. Barbour includes: Mark Hubbard Allen, William Antoin Bardwell, Thomas Holt Beasley, Mark Steven Ford, Jamie Donald Franks, Matthew Nelson Godfrey, Jeffrey Lee Haire, Zachary Cane Polk, Jason Todd Shivers, Robert Edward Stanfield, Thomas Stewart (no middle name provided), Kevin Bradley Tabereaux, John Mitchell (no middle name provided), Lindsay Cathryn Welch and Brenda Louise Travis.
Out of that list, only eight placed pardon-seeking notices in Starkville Daily News’ legal section as of Thursday, Jan. 12. Those individuals and the number of days their legal notices were published are as follows: Beasley, 30 days, scheduled Dec. 10 to Jan. 8; Ford, one day, scheduled for Jan. 6, 13, 20 and 27; Franks, 21 days, scheduled Dec. 20 to Jan. 9; Polk, 30 days, Oct. 12 to Nov. 11; Shivers, 30 days, scheduled Nov. 3 to Dec. 2; Stewart, two days, scheduled Dec. 30, Jan. 6, 13 and 20; Mitchell, 30 days, scheduled Dec. 14 to Jan. 12; and Welch, three days, scheduled Jan. 10 to Feb. 8.
Jan Schaefer, a spokesperson for the Miss. Attorney General’s Office, said officials are reviewing the list of pardons to see if individuals met the requirements for published notifications before receiving clemency. Upon the review’s completion, she said, an amended motion will be made in the state’s court system.
“Depending on our findings, a list of people shown to not have met the criteria will have to appear in court where a judge will review the evidence,” Schaefer said. “We’re hoping by next week we’ll be able to file the amended motion.”
A review of Barbour’s full pardon list and attached executive orders hosted on the Secretary of State’s website — http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/ed_pubs/pubs/pardons_barbour_1.10.2012.pdf  — yielded the following results:
Allen was sentenced in Oktibbeha County in 1996 to serve 10 years for vehicular homicide. Former Gov. Kirk Fordice released Allen in 1999 with Executive Order No. 801, with parole compacted to Tennessee and an order for Allen to enroll in a four-year college program and reside with his parents. In 2007, Allen was discharged from parole supervision. Allen was granted a full pardon by Gov. Barbour.
Bardwell was sentenced on Oct. 19, 2004, in Oktibbeha County for a charge of selling marijuana (less than an ounce). Bardwell was discharged three years later. Gov. Barbour issued Bardwell a full pardon.
Beasley was sentenced in Oktibbeha County in 2007 for the sale of marijuana (more than 30 grams but less than 1 kilogram) and the sale of cocaine. He was ordered to serve seven years in MDOC custody for the marijuana conviction and was ordered to a 20-year MDOC sentence, a $5,000 fine, to cover the court costs associated with all counts and five years in post-release supervision to follow the prison term for the sale of cocaine. Those sentences were to run concurrently. Beasley was placed on parole supervision in October 2011 and granted a full pardon by Gov. Barbour.
Ford was sentenced in Oktibbeha County in 1981 for a burglary charge. He was discharged in 1985 and granted a full pardon by Gov. Barbour.
Franks — listed as “Jimmy” in Barbour’s Executive Order No. 1123 — was sentenced in Oktibbeha County in 2003 for aggravated DUI. He was issued a five-year sentence with the last three years suspended and three years supervised probation. Franks was released from the Oktibbeha County Jail in 2004 and received an early discharge from probation in 2005. Gov. Barbour issued a full pardon for Franks with Executive Order No. 1123.
Godfrey was sentenced to five years of non-adjudicated probation in Oktibbeha County on Jan. 8, 2009, for conspiracy to commit grand larceny. Gov. Barbour issued a full pardon for Godfrey.
Haire was ordered to serve five years in MDOC custody with five years suspended condition upon the successful completion of five years supervised probation in 1991 for possession of a controlled substance. In 1994, Haire was granted an order modifying probation by the sentencing court which placed him on unsupervised probation until 1996. Gov. Barbour issued Haire a full pardon.
Polk was sentenced in 2007 in Oktibbeha County for selling a controlled substance and was placed on parole in 2009. Gov. Barbour issued a full pardon for Polk.
Shivers was sentenced in Oktibbeha County in 1993 for the sale of LSD. According to Gov. Barbour’s Executive Order No. 1200, Shivers was granted an order of expungement by the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court on July 12, 1999. A full pardon for Shivers was issued by the outgoing governor.
Stanfield was sentenced in 2007 in Oktibbeha County for two counts of selling of MDMA and one count of selling Alprazolam. Stanfield was scheduled for discharge on or about Oct. 5, 2012. Gov. Barbour granted Stanfield a full pardon.
Stewart was sentenced in 1988 for receiving stolen property in Oktibbeha County. Stewart’s right of suffrage was restored in 1993 via Miss. Senate Bill No. 3140. Gov. Barbour issued Stewart a full pardon.
Tabereaux was sentenced in 2007 in Oktibbeha County for the sale of cocaine and also sentenced in 1998 in Rankin County for homicide by negligently operating a moving vehicle while driving under the influence. Executive Order No. 1219 states his tentative release date was scheduled for April 4, 2025. Gov. Barbour issued a suspended sentence with MDOC for the crimes.
Mitchell was sentenced in 2008 in Oktibbeha County for the sale of a controlled substance. His tentative discharge, as listed by Executive Order 1272, was scheduled for April 30, 2012. Gov. Barbour issued Mitchell a full pardon.
Welch was sentenced in 2000 in Oktibbeha County for culpable negligence manslaughter. She was discharged from prison in October 2007. A full pardon was granted by Gov. Haley Barbour.
Travis was sentenced to two years until release pursuant to an agreement with Louisiana in 1985 for a charge of felony shoplifting while on probation. Gov. Barbour issued a full pardon to Travis.