Luke Woodham asking governor for clemency

Published: Jul. 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:50 AM CST
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Luke Woodham Source: MDOC
Luke Woodham Source: MDOC

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Luke Woodham, one of Mississippi's most notorious criminals, has made a jaw-dropping request from his prison cell at Parchman.

14 years after stabbing and killing his mother, then opening fire at Pearl High School, killing two students and injuring seven others, he wants clemency.

On June 28, a man who didn't identify himself walked into the Rankin County News office in Brandon and presented the information for the legal notice. He paid $16.34 for the notice to run for several weeks.

The ad says "I, Luke Woodham, am filing for executive clemency. I am sorry for my crimes and I am asking for a chance to live the new life that God has given me."

Rankin County news alerted District Attorney Michael Guest. "At the time this case occurred, there was a sense going through this community that I've not felt or experienced on any other case we've been involved with because of the nature of the loss," Guest says.

Guest was assistant D.A. in 1997 when the shootings occurred, and worked on Woodham's two trials: one for killing his mother, the other for the shootings at Pearl High School. "For now for Mr. Woodham to think that he has done enough time, that he should be eligible to be released is ridiculous. I don't feel there's any chance in this world his petition will be granted," Guest says. "I want the public to feel safe. While he's asked for that, the odds of him getting that are zero."

Woodham has served 13 years of his three life sentences. He was also given seven 20-year sentences for each of the aggravated assault convictions.

Soft hearts for Luke Woodham are scarce. "He shouldn't be able to get out on good behavior, whatever. You kill your mom, kids, you're still crazy," says Katie Marshall of Brandon.

"Does he really realize what he's done to the City of Pearl? And to those kids that died, does he really realize, only him and God know," says Tamara Griffin of Pearl.

"I think it's ridiculous," Clare Nichols of Pearl tells us. "I think the parents of all these children that got hurt are gonna be disgusted."

Governor Haley Barbour says, "I'd be flabbergasted if the parole board recommended clemency."

WLBT News contacted the parole board to find out if they had received a clemency request for Woodham. We were told that information is "not public record".

Luke Woodham, the former Pearl High School student convicted for shooting and killing his mother and two other students in a rampage in 1997, is asking Governor Haley Barbour for clemency.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.