Man pardoned by Barbour charged with DUI weeks before

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 05, 2012 8:23 PM
Man pardoned by Barbour charged with DUI weeks before

By Robbie Ward

STARKVILLE, Miss (Reuters) - Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was not aware that a man who received a pardon in January had been charged with driving while intoxicated for a fourth time just weeks before Barbour granted the pardon, his spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Harry Bostick was arrested on October 7, 2011 and later charged in a felony DUI in an accident in Pontotoc County that led to the death of an 18-year-old woman, court records show. He was not charged with murder.

Barbour's pardon of Bostick related to three previous DUIs that had resulted in a felony conviction. Barbour said after the pardons that he granted some of them because he felt those convicted had reformed.

Barbour signed the Bostick pardon January 10. The most recent DUI charge happened after Mississippi Parole Board officials reviewed Bostick's pardon request and forwarded it to Barbour on September 30 with a favorable recommendation.

"In reviewing Mr. Bostick's case, Gov. Barbour took the Parole Board's recommendation into consideration, and he wasn't aware of the subsequent charges," said Laura Hipp, Barbour's spokeswoman.

Parole Board chairwoman Shannon Warnock could not be reached on Sunday.

Barbour, a Republican who served eight years as governor, sparked a storm of criticism after granting about 200 pardons as he left office last month. Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, has asked a circuit court to void some of the pardons because some of those who received them may not have followed a notification requirements in the state constitution. Ten of the pardons granted by Barbour went to current inmates, including four serving life sentences for murder.

The Mississippi Supreme Court will hold a hearing on Thursday related to the pardons of the inmates who were serving prison sentences.

(Editing by Greg McCune)