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Gov. Haley Barbour defends Controversial Pardons

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- On Friday, Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour defended his pardon of 215 prisoners when he left office.

"I am very comfortable with the decisions I made during my term as Governor as to clemency," said Barbour. "I am fully confident the pardons and other clemency are all valid."

Barbour faced criticism from many quarters including family members of victims. The former governor pardoned some convicted killers. Of the 215 pardoned, 189 were already out of prison and 26 were still in prison. Barbour said 13 inmates were granted clemency for medical reasons and as a result saved the state from paying for expensive medical treatment.

"Marsha and I are evangelical Christians – Presbyterians.  Christianity teaches us forgiveness and second chances.  I believe in second chances, and I try hard to be forgiving," said Barbour.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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