Politics

Judge Says Pardoned Murderers in Mississippi Can Temporarily Remain Free

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 A Mississippi court ruled Monday to allow the four convicted murderers pardoned earlier this month by then-Gov. Haley Barbour to remain free at least until a hearing scheduled for February 3, according to CNN reports.

The four men will have to check in with authorities daily, said Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood had previously indicated he wants the pardoned convicts to return to prison, according to CNN.

Three of those men -- David Gatlin, Charles Hooker and Anthony McCray -- appeared in court for today's hearing, along with an attorney representing all of them.

Another murderer, Joseph Ozment, who was also released January 8 was not in the courtroom today, according to CNN.

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Green agreed to a request today from the attorney general's office to add five more convicts  to the list who must check in with authorities and could return to prison. They were also pardoned by Barbour.

Those pardoned include: Kirby Glenn Tate, convicted on drug charges; Azikiwe Kambule, convicted for being a murder accessory; Joshua Howard, convicted on statutory rape charges; Katherine Robertson, for aggravated assault; and Aaron Brown, for murder, according to CNN reports.

Some of the victims family members were in court today, but left without making any comments to reporters, according to Reuters.

Barbour granted pardons to a total of 221 people, according to Reuters.