Anti-pardon supporters rally at Capitol - - Jackson, MS

Anti-pardon supporters rally at Capitol

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Victims' rights supporters rallied at the Capitol Wednesday after a vote on legislation to amend pardoning powers failed.

Dozens held signs expressing their opposition to recent pardons and the exclusion of input by victims' families before a governor makes final pardon decisions.

Tuesday an amendment, Senate Bill 2195, died in a 74 to 22 vote.

It would have required a public hearing to take place in the community where the felony was committed before the convict is pardoned.

"They're not doing what they say they're gonna do. I had various people call me and say that they were gonna stand behind me and that they were gonna vote the right way on these bills and then I've got documentation here where a bill came up this week, and they voted the opposite way of what they told me," said crime victim Randy Walker, who was shot in the head by David Gatlin in 1993.

"This is about opening up a process, letting people be heard and we hear lots and lots about sunshine. Well the Republicans are in charge back there in this building folks. They have the Governor's mansion. They have the Lt. Governor's office. They have control in the Senate and the House," said Rep. David Baria, (D) Bay St. Louis.

Representatives who attended the rally hope to have another vote on the issue before the legislative session ends.

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