Man gets DUI between applying for, getting pardon
Saturday, February 4, 2012
BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and parole officials said Saturday that they didn't know a man was charged with DUI after a fatal wreck that happened between the time he applied for a pardon and the time Barbour granted it.
The Parole Board investigated Harry Bostick's application for pardon from a felony DUI and sent a favorable recommendation to Barbour on Sept. 30. The crash happened the next month, and Barbour signed the pardon two months later on Jan. 10.
Parole Board Chairwoman Shannon Warnock and Barbour's spokeswoman said Saturday they didn't know about Bostick's most recent DUI charge or the wreck because it happened after officials investigated the pardon request.
The accident killed 18-year-old Charity Smith. Bostick is charged with DUI, but not with causing her death.
"The arrest did not result in any notification to the Parole Board or to the governor's office," Warnock said Saturday.
Neither the teen's parents nor Bostick could be reached Saturday by The Associated Press.
The pardon won't wipe out the new DUI charge, and it's not yet known if Bostick will face more charges related to the crash.
A former U.S. attorney was among those supporting Bostick's pardon. People who supported Bostick's pardon said he was a former IRS investigator whose life spiraled out of control after his son died in a house fire and he went through a divorce. They said he had been sober and was turning his life around.
Bostick was sentenced in May 2010 for his third felony DUI. He was sentenced to five years in an intensive supervision program and ordered to participate in the Lafayette County Drug Court program. His pardon paperwork shows he was supposed to be in the drug program until March 2013.
"In reviewing Mr. Bostick's case, Gov. Barbour took the Parole Board's recommendation into consideration, and he wasn't aware of the subsequent charge," Barbour's spokeswoman, Laura Hipp, said in a statement.
Barbour pardoned 198 people in his final days in office. Most were already out of prison, some for years or decades.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is challenging the legality of some of the pardons, saying some people didn't publish notifications as Hood says is required in Mississippi's Constitution.
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case Thursday. Five men — four convicted murders and a man serving life for robbery — have been ordered to check in with prison officials every day until the legal challenge is heard. All five worked as inmate trusties at the Governor's Mansion.
Five other people are being held in jail on a temporary restraining order while the legal wrangling plays out
Barbour's pardons outraged crime victims, but he said he's comfortable with them because he's a Christian and believes in second chances. Barbour, a nationally known Republican, has said Hood is playing politics. Hood, the only Democrat in statewide office in Mississippi, has scoffed at that suggestion.