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Mississippi Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Pardons: Emily Wagster Pettus of the Associated Press reports the Mississippi Supreme Court heard more than three hours of oral arguments Thursday regarding the validity of pardons Haley Barbour gave during his final days as governor. If the state's high court declares the pardons invalid, the pardons could be sent back to a lower court, where a circuit judge could hold a trial to determine whether the pardons met the 30-day notification requirements set forth in the Mississippi Constitution. Lawyers defending the pardons say the constitution does not give the power to anybody to review the power granted to the governor to pardon, and that this case is really about the separation of powers under the Mississippi Constitution. Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. did not say when the court would make its decision.

Mississippi Executes Double-Murderer: The Associated Press reports Edwin Hart Turner was executed by lethal injection Wednesday night at the Mississippi State Penitentiary for killing two men during a 1995 robbery spree. Relatives of the two victims watched the execution. One of the victim's older brothers read a family statement afterward. "I don't think we will ever have complete closure because a void will always exist in our hearts. At least we will have some consolation in knowing that the person who committed this cowardly and senseless act is finally gone," he said.

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