The Clarion-Ledger, 7/25/8

Gov. Haley Barbour’s attempt Thursday to explain the early release of a Jackson County man who murdered his ex-wife failed to satisfy questions from her family members, lawmakers, law enforcement officials and victim-rights advocates.

Barbour recently commuted the life sentence of Michael David Graham, who served 19 years for shooting his ex as she sat in her car at a busy Pascagoula intersection. Graham worked as a trusty at the Governor’s Mansion since 2004, where he “has performed well and proven to be a diligent workman,” Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said as part of a statement sent to reporters who questioned the commutation.

Questioned at an unrelated event on the Coast, Barbour told WLOX-TV that Graham’s supervised release “doesn’t excuse him of an awful crime … but in my opinion, he’s earned a second chance.”