The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 3/23/8

Pardons and paroles are subject of much Mississippi political lore.

There is the story about a man seeking help from an official to get his cousin out of prison. The official told the man he would need to buy the official’s mule for $500.

“Why would I want to pay $500 for a mule?”

“For your cousin to ride out of Parchman,” the official replied.

The late long-term Mississippi secretary of state Heber Ladner told me once that one of his memories of the final days of the Theo Bilbo administration was a big straw basket under the governor’s desk filled with “pardon” cash.

Former Gov. Ross Barnett was famous for awarding 10-day suspension of sentences that went on indefinitely. Veteran newspaperman Bill Minor said ol’ Ross’ home on Old Canton Road got the nickname “O Pardon Me.”