Bryant supports amendment on limiting clemency

Mississippi’s new Republican governor backs tightening the rules on pardons after his predecessor, one-time presidential hopeful Haley Barbour, sparked controversy by granting clemency to more than 200 convicts in his final days in office.

Governor Phil Bryant, who served as Barbour’s lieutenant governor and who took office on Tuesday, would support a state constitutional amendment to tweak the governor’s clemency powers, his spokesman said on Thursday.

“Governor Phil Bryant has asked Senator Michael Watson, Chairman for the Senate Constitution Committee, to review the current law as it regards to pardons, how it allows the governor to make these type of decisions, and whether we need to address the wording better in a constitutional amendment,” spokesman Mick Bullock said in a statement.