Hood has said the proper public notice was provided in the cases of only about two dozen of those pardoned. None of the former Governor's Mansion trusties met the requirement, he said.
Barbour also granted medical release and conditional clemency to some inmates, but they weren't required to give public notice of their release.
Waller asked Hood whether people pardoned by past governors had met the 30 days' publication requirement. Hood said he didn't know the history of every governor, but he had a document showing the actions of Bill Waller Sr., the chief justice's father, who served as governor from 1972 to 1976.
A document provided by Hood's office shows Gov. Waller on May 28, 1974, issued a document to correct the paperwork on a pardon originally issued by his predecessor, Gov. John Bell Williams, in 1967. The document from Gov. Waller notes that under Williams, the person seeking the pardon did not give 30 days' notice. It says that by May 1974: "Subject has complied with the provisions of Section 124, Article 5, Mississippi Constitution of 1890 by publishing his petition for the pardon for the time and manner provided thereby."
The justices questioned Hood about the role that one of his staff attorneys had in advising Barbour's staff about the pardons. The question is whether that role disqualifies Hood from arguing against the pardons.
Hood said Barbour's legal filings are "trying to mislead the court" about the role of assistant attorney general David Scott, who is assigned to do legal work for the state Department of Corrections. Barbour has included text messages in court records between Scott and a Barbour assistant in which they discuss the publication statute.
"The governor can't shirk the duty and blame it on someone else no matter who it is," Hood said.
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