Attorney General Jim Hood is gearing up for a legal fight like he's never seen, pitting the state against the actions of former governor Haley Barbour and a long list of criminals now pardoned by him.
"There's not a lot of guidance but the constitution is clear, I mean an eighth grader can sit down and look at that," said Hood.
Hood says most of the pardons issued by Barbour violated the state constitution. The main requirement calls for a 30 day notice in a local newspaper before a pardon can be granted. Out of the 203 pardons issued by Barbour, Hood says 168 should be voided. Hood says 117 had insufficient publication and another 51 had no publication at all, leaving just 25 former inmates with valid pardons and another ten still under review.
"Our lawyers in our office are unanimous," said Hood.
After Hood filed an injunction last week stopping the release of anymore inmates, which a court approved, Barbour came out in defense saying Hood was playing legal politics and stood behind his pardons.
"I am fully confident that the pardons and other clemency that I have given are all valid," said Barbour.
Thursday, Hood filed an amended complaint, adding five more people to the five already listed in the initial complaint, bringing the number of cases to ten. Monday's hearing will focus just on those ten, the five who worked as trusties at the governor's mansion and five other's who are still in jail.
Hood says he'll ask the court to extend the injunction for ten days, to allow those ten defendants time to prepare. From there Hood says his office will being serving the more than one hundred fifty others not yet a part of the complaint, then add them to it.
"It'll take a lot of work, it'll take a lot of court time," said Hood.
Hod hopes for a summary judgement by the time it's all over and says he doesn't have much doubt a will agree.
"What a court does is up to the court, but my duty is to bring it to a court of law and that's all we're doing here," said Hood.
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.