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."