Opposition critics wasted little time pouncing on Justice Minister Ross Landry over revelations that an inmate at the Burnside jail was held for 43 days after his sentence had ended.

Robert Jefferies was supposed to be released Oct. 5, but wasn’t until yesterday morning.

Landry said he has launched an internal investigation into the incident, as well as the “clerical error” that led to the early release of Vernon Martell three weeks earlier.

But Liberal justice critic Michel Samson said the incidents — as well as a brawl that sent multiple guards to the hospital on Monday night at the Central Nova Correctional Facility — reduce confidence in the justice system.

“We’ve been told that the government is taking steps to correct all these problems,” Samson told reporters yesterday.

“Only to see now that, once again, an inmate was kept 43 days extra. It just again erodes Nova Scotians’ confidence that this government has a handle on the justice department.”

Cecil Clarke, whose tenure as justice minister had its own fair share of mistaken releases, said Landry should own up to his mistakes.

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