Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says he can’t force murderer Joseph Ozment, pardoned by outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour, back to the state even though he has been located in Wyoming, CNN reports. “We can’t treat him as an escapee. He has a document that says he’s a free man as of now,” said Hood. In 1992. Ozment was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ozment did not appear at a Mississippi court hearing in a case challenging the pardons. A judge may hold him in contempt.
Tammy Gatlin, the sister of Tiffany Ellis Brewer, was shot and killed by David Gatlin, also pardoned by Barbour. “He got life plus 30 years, you know? And he served 18 of them. My sister lived 20 years. It’s ridiculous,” Brewer said. Hood criticized Barbour’s actions, telling CNN, “He ran the office of the governor as if it was Mississippi in the 1950s,” said Hood. The attorney general, a Democrat, said many of the inmates Barbour, a Republican, pardoned came from influential families or had connections to the Republican Party. Barbour is defending his actions.