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Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press
In this Jan. 18, 2012 photograph, Thomas Ailes recalls the events that led to his 1970s marijuana conviction, while at his Wesson, Miss., home. Ailes received a pardon from Gov. Haley Barbour earlier this month.

WESSON, Miss. — Several people who were pardoned by Mississippi's former governor wanted the reprieves to give them a clear conscience — not freedom.

Most of the nearly 200 pardons granted by former Gov. Haley Barbour were for lesser crimes, some dating back decades. And Barbour has said 189 of the people who got reprieves were already out of prison.

But the hope of redemption and a clean record could be dashed for people like Thomas Ailes, who has been out of prison since 1977. He had been convicted on a marijuana charge.

Mississippi's attorney general is fighting to block dozens of the pardons, which generated a firestorm of criticism from the families of violent crime victims. Jim Hood says those granted pardons did not publish the notifications required.