Nation: Going Free In Tennessee

Blanton releases 23 murderers

This takes guts," remarked Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton last week as he signed an official document.

"Yeah," replied Secretary of State Gentry Crowell, as he witnessed the Governor's signature. "Some people have more guts than they've got brains."

This exchange took place late at night after Blanton, with just five days left in his term, summoned Crowell, a frequent critic, for some last-minute business at the Governor's office in Nashville. By the time Blanton finished his evening's work, he had pardoned or commuted the prison sentences of 52 felons, including 23 murderers and 15 armed robbers. "We're under a...

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