Musgrove Grants Pardons

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In one of his final acts as Mississippi's governor, Ronnie Musgrove suspended the sentence of several inmates and commuted the sentences of at least three more.

Those receiving indefinite suspensions of life sentences before Musgrove left office are Mickey Jerome Walton; Clarence Jones; MacArthur Hill; James Magee and Larry Harper.

Jones, Hill, Magee, and Harper had served as trusties at the Governor's Mansion.

Musgrove's order said Walton is a wheelchair bound quadriplegic with breathing and swallowing difficulties.

Among those receiving commutation was Boots Carter Blanks, who was convicted of murder and aggravated assault and sentenced to life in prison in February 1987 in Forrest County. Blanks, 73, served ten years in prison and received a medical discharge in 1997. Musgrove also ordered that Blanks' right to vote be restored.

Jonathan Compretta, an assistant attorney general, said the state Constitution gives Musgrove the right to grant indefinite suspensions. Musgrove's predecessor, Kirk Fordice, granted clemency to at least eight people during his two terms.