Friday, February 3, 2012

Mississippi Pardon of Repeat DUI Offender Raises Serious Questions

While everyone is focusing on Governor Haley Barbour's pardons of several convicted murderers in Mississippi, nobody is talking about one particular pardon which in many ways is more disturbing.  In January of this year, outgoing Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour, issued a pardon to a repeat DUI offender while he was sitting in jail awaiting possible DUI charges for an accident that killed an 18 year old girl. The case of Harry Bostick is beyond disturbing.  Bostick is a retired IRS Investigator.  Bostick had been convicted of his third DUI arrest in one year in March of 2009.  For the third DUI, Bostick had been sentenced to one year of house arrest and 4 years in a Mississippi drug court program.  This is a drug and alcohol program with strict requirements that Bostick must follow.  Last summer, while he was still in the program, Bostick began applying for a pardon from Governor Barbour.  Many high profile individuals in Mississippi wrote letters in support of Bostick's pardon, including a letter from a retired U.S. Attorney.  The letters detailed the death of his teenage son in a house fire, and his divorce.  The letters talked about how he had changed his life and was not using alcohol anymore.  On September 30, the Mississippi Parole Board, on a 3 to 2 vote, recommended that Bostick be pardoned.  On October 7, according to the Mississippi State Police, Bostick was driving under the influence of alcohol when he slammed into the side of a car driven by 18 year old Charity Smith.  Charity was killed and her older sister suffered serious injuries.  In January, Barbour granted Bostick's pardon, while Bostick was sitting in jail on a probation violation and authorities were investigating the latest accident and considering what to charge Bostick with. Nobody has been able to explain how nobody knew about the current case.  Apparently nobody bothered to do a final check to see if anything new had happened.  Barbour is blaming the Parole Board, the Parole Board is blaming the Governor's office.  In the meantime, Charity's mother is left to mourn and try to make sense of the heartbreaking loss of her 18 year old daughter.  An 18 year old girl who was saving her money to go to college and get her business degree.  Those dreams have now vanished while the man who extinguished this young life is a free man, having been pardoned by the Governor of the State of Mississippi, absolved of his crimes.

Clearly, something is terribly wrong in Mississippi.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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