"MS Supremes Tell Hood 'No' on Byrom, Throw Out Man's Death Sentence" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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MS Supremes Tell Hood 'No' on Byrom, Throw Out Man's Death Sentence

The Mississippi State Supreme Court has denied Attorney General Jim Hood's request for an explanation of their March decision in the case of Michelle Byrom, Tom Freeland of the North Mississippi Commenter reports.

Byrom had been on a death row for participating in the murder of her abusive husband. However, evidence came to light that raised strong doubts about the extent of Byrom's participation in the crime and the state's high court declined to schedule her execution and ordered a new trial with a new judge.

Hood, a former prosecutor and the state's only statewide Democratic official, blew a gasket and demanded that justices explain their rationale.

Not only did justices not bend to Hood's request on the Byrom case, just for good measure they also threw out the death sentence of a man named Roger Lee Gillett and ordered him re-sentenced.

The Associated Press reports: "Gillett was convicted in 2007 in Forrest County on two counts of capital murder for his role in the deaths of a Hattiesburg couple and the transporting of their bodies to Kansas in a freezer. While in custody in Kansas, he attempted to escape. That crime was one of the aggravating factors prosecutors presented jurors to support the death penalty.

"The Supreme Court, in its 6-3 decision Thursday, says not every escape is considered a crime of violence under Kansas law. Therefore, wrote Justice Ann Lamar, the Kansas crime cannot be used to support a death sentence in Mississippi."

Comments

myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

Jim Hood blew a fake gasket. He didn't really want or expect an answer to a question that would have made his office and the courts look bad.

He claimed his only reason in asking was to educate the lower courts by showing them their mistakes. Who, exactly, was he trying to kid?

He knew exactly what was wrong with Byrom's case, not much doubt about that.

He was just showboating.

The whole thing was so predictable.

I have to say that it is encouraging that the Mississippi Supreme Court seems to be showing a willingness, recently, to review these death penalty convictions.

There are people that are languishing on death row that don't belong there.

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js1976 3 years, 5 months ago

Would it not be possible to hand down the same sentence to Gillett? I don't see why not considering that no new evidence was presented that casts any doubt on his involvement with the two capital murder convictions.

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