First, Haley Barbour issued a spate of controversial last-minute pardons; then, a judge rejected a number of them, calling back five men who'd been released from prison. But the dust still hasn't settled: Those five men, convicted of murder and robbery, are nowhere to be found. The Mississippi attorney general's office is seeking the convicts, all of whom worked in the governor's mansion under Barbour, and none of whom filed pardon-related paperwork on time, the Clarion-Ledger reports.
The convicts were required to announce their applications for clemency in local newspapers at least 30 days before any pardon. While all five men sent notices to the newspaper, they didn't meet the 30-day requirement. Under a court order, they're required to check in with correctional officials every 24 hours. The prospect of their return to jail has offered victims' families a glimmer of hope. "I want to be excited but I'm afraid to be excited," says the mother of a murder victim. "This whole thing has put a wet blanket on the trust that I have in the people that are supposed to be there serving us."