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A man who was pardoned by former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has been charged with driving under the influence. The man was convicted for DUI three times before, Reuters reports.
Harry Bostick is accused of crashing a car into another vehicle while driving drunk. The collision killed the other driver, 18-year-old Charity Smith. Bostick, a former IRS agent, allegedly left the scene following the accident.
Bostick received one of the over 200 pardons from ex-Governor Barbour earlier this year. He was given the pardon for a 2009 felony DUI conviction. So why was a thrice convicted drunk driver allowed to go free?
It's not very clear. Bostick had applied for the pardon and his friends wrote letters of support to the former governor. Many cited Bostick's divorce and his son's death as reasons for his decline into alcoholism. One also said that he had stopped drinking.
The former governor has said he granted the pardons out of the spirit of forgiveness and to give inmates a second chance. His camp has yet to comment on Bostick's case.
Bostick has also been charged with causing Smith's death. If convicted, under Mississippi law he could receive up to 25 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. Defendants can also have their driver's license suspended, car confiscated, and be ordered to attend alcohol rehabilitation classes.
Typically, a defendant's criminal record may also be considered during sentencing. However, in Bostick's case, that won't be entirely true.
That's because of the former governor's actions. Since his last DUI conviction was pardoned, Bostick's latest DUI charge will be tried as his third. In actuality, this is technically his fourth DUI offense.
Haley Barbour's critics have called his pardons "heinous." And Bostick's latest DUI charge isn't likely to change any of their minds.