"Jim Hood Orders 2 Executions then Defends U.S. Human Rights in Geneva" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackblog

Jim Hood Orders 2 Executions then Defends U.S. Human Rights in Geneva

Last week, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood was in Geneva, Switzerland representing the U.S. before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Hood, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi, serves as president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General, and "responded to the committee’s questions concerning the death penalty, domestic violence, human trafficking, corporal punishment, zero tolerance in schools, life without parole for juvenile offenders, and reinstatement of voting rights for felons."

It would be interesting to know exactly what those questions, and Hood's responses, were. Especially considering that just a few weeks ago, Hood requested execution dates for two condemned Mississippi prisoners.

At Hood's request, Charles Ray Crawford and Michelle Byrom are scheduled to be put to death on March 26 and March 27, respectively.

Crawford was convicted of the 1993 killing of a college student named Kristy Ray in Tippah County.

Byrom was convicted of murder-for-hire in 1999 in connection with the death of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr. Even though big questions hang over Byrom's case, whose son wrote several letters confessing to the crime and that his mother did not participate in it, Hood moved ahead with planning her execution anyway.

Through a news statement, Hood said of his trip to human-rights mission to Geneva:

“It was indeed an honor to be one of the attorneys to defend America’s human rights record. ...It was rewarding to clarify many international misconceptions about Mississippi’s civil rights record and that of other states and our federal government.”

Comments

Missconception 3 years, 7 months ago

It galls me to no end that Jim Hood, of all people, was sent to defend America.

That he continued to insult the United Nations by trying to say there were international misconceptions about Mississippi's civil and human rights violations is laughable.

This, coming from the man who asked recently to set an execution date for an inmate named Erik Hollie, who has been on death row since 2010. The problem is, Hollie has gone three years without the automatic review that every condemned inmate is entitled to.

As Attorney General of Mississippi, Hood is well aware of the law and was well aware that this review had not taken place.

Instead of ordering that the review be done post haste, Hood requests an execution date.

His attempt to subvert the law in Hollie's case is shocking.

He also, instead of honestly reviewing a claim of actual innocence by another death row inmate, Jeffrey Havard, is trying to speed up his execution, saying that Havard's innocence does not matter and that it is too late for him to be heard, even though Havard has not been able to previously bring up his innocence because the DA that tried him intentionally withheld exonerating evidence from the defense. From everything I have read about that case, Havard is not applying stall tactics. It appears he could be actually innocent. And I don't care what Hood or Scalia or anyone else says, innocence damn well DOES matter.

President elect of the National Assoc. of Attorney's General? Huh. Is that a joke?

What we here in Mississippi need to remember is that Jim Hood made his career off of the very corrupt Steven Hayne and that there is no way that he got his convictions honestly through the testimony of Hayne.

Jim Hood fought very hard to block the state from firing Hayne. Old Jim fought so hard to keep the despicable Hayne, that legislature was passed to prevent Hood from continuing to use an uncertified, bought and paid for pathologist.

Jim Hood is "tough on crime"? I think not, since the worst criminals are Hood himself and most of the states judicial system.

I say that an integrity unit should be created to investigate all convictions that Hayne was involved in for the 20 years he and prosecutors rampantly racked up wrongful convictions.

Then boot Jim Hood's ass out of office.

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ryannave 3 years, 7 months ago

Jan Schaefer, communications director for Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, responded to this blog post with the following verbatim email:

Hey RL,

In the spirit of education that I hope you will find helpful—especially with future stories, I just want to make some technical corrections to your story: Jim Hood Orders 2 Executions then Defends U.S. Human Rights in Geneva, March 18, 2014

*Per your headline, I would simply note that the AG does not order executions, juries do. The AG is mandated by state law to request the court to set an execution date once due process has occurred.

*It would be interesting to know exactly what those questions, and Hood's responses, were. (these were broadcast live on the UN Treaty site and are still accessible on the internet—I certainly could have pointed that out if you had emailed or called.)

*At Hood's request, Charles Ray Crawford and Michelle Byrom are scheduled to be put to death on March 26 and March 27, respectively. (Again, the AG does not order executions. He is mandated by state law to request the court to set an execution date within 30 days once due process has occurred.)

*Byrom was convicted of murder-for-hire in 1999 in connection with the death of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr. Even though big questions hang over Byrom's case, whose son wrote several letters confessing to the crime and that his mother did not participate in it, Hood moved ahead with planning her execution anyway. (Again, the AG is mandated by state law to request the court to set an execution date within 30 days once due process has occurred.)

Legislators make the laws and the Attorney General enforces them.

I just wanted to note these facts as I believe they matter to your readership, and I hope they help with future stories. Thank you for allowing me to do so.

Regards,

Jan

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Milagros 3 years, 6 months ago

The death penalty serves no one. No Gov has the right to take a life. No human ha the right to murder anyone regardless of what is alleged Mississippi, like others will always be called GOD DAMMED

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Missconception 3 years, 7 months ago

What a load of garbage, Jan.

Juries alone do not order the death penalty. They are pushed along by cops that lie and prosecutors that play REALLY dirty.

Jim Hood used to BE one of those prosecutors.

Did you intentionally leave out judges that impose death sentences?

We won't even address those who are wrongfully convicted to lessor sentences.

Actual FACTS do matter to readers, but your "facts" are skewed.

If the Attorney General just enforces the law, how do you explain the fact that Erick Hollie never received his mandatory review, but Hood asked for an execution date anyway?

How do you explain that Hood is salivating to execute Jeff Havard without reviewing his actual innocence claims? It looks like he should never have been convicted. We will not accuse Hood of being a participant in the conviction because he was not AG then, but he IS a participant in the travesty that has kept Havard on DR for going on 13 years.

According to Byroms attorney's, she has not exhausted her appeals.

And we'll ignore Hood being so eager to keep Hayne on the states payroll.

So, of the three people on death row that I mention here, two executions have been improperly requested and one that was maliciously prosecuted who has a valid claim of actual innocence that is being, not just ignored, but is being maliciously opposed by the very office that is supposed to seek the truth.

And in your attempt to "educate" people, you fail to mention that Crawford will not be executed on the 26th of this month and Byrom will unlikely be executed on the 27th.

And I am only addressing the death penalty. There is, oh, so much more, but it would be a waste of time, falling on corrupt, deaf ears.

The fact that you feel the need to point out twice that Hood does not order executions, is telling.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

Guess that the whole office is living in a world of delusion.

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js1976 3 years, 7 months ago

"Juries alone do not order the death penalty. They are pushed along by cops that lie and prosecutors that play REALLY dirty."

Actual facts do matter, and this isn't one of those facts. To claim that all death penalty convictions are based on lies and dirty tactics is nonsense. That is unless you have something to support this statement.

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Milagros 3 years, 6 months ago

Most death penalty decisions are based on lies I am willing to debate this

gracias

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js1976 3 years, 6 months ago

"Most death penalty decisions are based on lies I am willing to debate this"

Go ahead and debate your theories all you want, because unless you have anything to support your claims it's just your opinion.

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myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

jsi976 - Did you actually read what Missconception said?

I didn't see where it said that ALL death penalty convictions were based on lies and dirty tactics.

Looks to me that she only argued that Havard was not a valid conviction.

But, then again, look what happened for Michelle Byrom. Obviously, they tried to kill her to sweep that one under the rug before it was discovered that the judge told the Doctor to leave the confession of her weasel of a son out of his report. You don't call that a dirty tactic?

As for Havard...we will see.

How sad that either you are completely blind or just playing dumb, because obviously you know of the forensic scandal here.

Or, you work for that joke of an Attorney General.

Funny how Jan said Hood's answers to the UN were available to watch but didn't provide a link, however, after watching it myself, I can't say that I blame her.

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Sirotan2 3 years, 5 months ago

Read about Quintez Hodges: http://nmisscommentor.com/tag/quintez-hodges/

The ADA who lied to get that guy on death row is now a judge in Lowndes County. As Kim Wade would say, "Something's got to be did."

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js1976 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I read what Missconception said. Did you? Looks to me that the statement was referring to death penalty cases in general.

When someone makes a claim that strong, I want to see supporting proof. Especially when the commentor is so concerned with actual facts. If you consider that to be sad, or portrays me as completely blind, so be it.

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myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

jsi976 Oh, I can read perfectly fine, thank you. She stated that one conviction had an actual innocence claim. That was pretty easy to understand.

You, on the other hand, claim the statement was about the death penalty in general. Why divert or try to misconstrue the meaning of another?

If you want supporting proof, do some research. I did, she's right.Havard seems to have a valid case of actual innocence. A conviction based on lies.

Hayne was the ME - go figure.

She made no claim that all death sentences were wrongful.

That was you, twisting words.

Looks like her facts were actual, and it looks like you didn't bother to check them out, you just snapped off your comment.

You came off as sad and blind. So be it.

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js1976 3 years, 5 months ago

"Juries alone do not order the death penalty. They are pushed along by cops that lie and prosecutors that play REALLY dirty."

I'm am not attempting to divert or misconstrue the meaning of another. This is a generalized statement that makes no reference to any particular death penalty case.

I have yet to make any statements regarding Harvards conviction, or his innocence. So why bother researching something that I'm not attempting to dispute?

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RonniM 3 years, 5 months ago

js1976, if you're really interested in learning something, I urge you to read the "understanding the causes" pages on the Innocence Project website. Note that the IP only take cases that can be resolved with DNA. That excludes many wrongful convictions including those of Havard and Byrom.

Among the cases overturned with DNA evidence, here are the reasons the IP found (many cases have more than one cause):

-Eyewitness misidentification -False confessions (often coerced) -Unreliable or improper forensic science, or forensic misconduct -Government misconduct -Informants (often paid or plea bargained) -Bad lawyering

Take that as you will, but it seems to me that "lies" can be inferred in every one of those causes, whether by commission or omission.

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js1976 3 years, 5 months ago

Ronni, I am fully aware of the Innocence Project and the work they do. I am not disputing the fact that we have death row inmates sitting in a cell due to the causes you have listed above. I applaud the IP for the work they do, and I wish them the best of luck.

I have issues with statements that claim ALL death row cases are based on lies, falsified evidence, or unreliable forensic data. Two commentors above have made such innacurate statements.

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myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

Hi RonniM,

Thank you for an intelligent comment.

Please permit me to make one minor correction.

The Innocence Project will indeed take cases that are not DNA based although I know that was not always the case.

The MS Innocence Project had taken Havard's case (in addition to his appellate attorney's), but the courts kept upholding Hayne as a forensic expert according to Tucker Carrington.

The was a very interesting article by Radley Balko online in the Washington Post last week.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/05/15/new-case-again-demonstrates-duplicity-of-embattled-mississippi-medical-examiner/

I don't know why the courts refuse to address what is likely the biggest forensic scandal in recent American history. I can only imagine that, a.) They don't want to deal with 20 years of wrongful convictions, or b.) Many of their own careers would be in jeopardy (including Jim Hood's).

What I would like to know is why the DOJ is ignoring it as well.

How truly tragic for those that are languishing in prison for crimes they are completely innocent of.

I should also point out that when asked by the U.N what MS was doing to prevent wrongful convictions, Hood responded that DNA tests are being done, as if every case is based on DNA. Ugh.

I doubt Jim Hood fooled the U.N. for a nanosecond.

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myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

jsi976 - So you continue with this? The original post says one conviction was wrongful.

If it's not alleged that the other convictions mentioned are wrongful, why do you keep suggesting that the comment meant ALL death penalty convictions are based on misconduct and lies?

Seriously...

Havard alone was called a wrongful conviction. His case is before the MSC with newly discovered evidence.

I think you are perhaps being intentionally obstinate.

The other comment was quite clear, Milagros believes all death penalty convictions are based on lives.

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myloridarlin 3 years, 5 months ago

jsi976 The post absolutely did refer to a particular case where actual innocence is being argued. And at issue is the A.G.'s office who is refusing to give the case an actual, valid review.

That you would prefer to pick that the case wasn't mentioned in the same paragraph is on you, not the person who posted.

It's not reasonable that you accuse someone of being inaccurate when they make a statement, cite a case, and then you take it upon yourself to nitpick it to death.

SHE. MADE. NO. CLAIM. THAT. ANYONE. BUT. HAVARD. WAS. INNOCENT.

What about that not being "all" is confusing?

I take issue with you thinking you are justified in continuing to assert that evidently only you can interpret a post someone else made.

I read the same posts and took them differently than you did.

Drop it already.

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js1976 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I will continue with this! If you would like to "drop it already", let it go. Could it be that is you being intentionally "obstinate"? Could it be that it is you who continue to assert that only you can interpret a post someone else made?

If you want to continue to explain someone else's comment for them, be my guest. I read the same post and took it differently than you did as well. Until the person that made the comment wants to chime in, we will disagree on the statement that was made.

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donnaladd 3 years, 5 months ago

OK, folks. Enough. If you want to add something new to move the conversation forward, that's fine. But personal attacks and repeating the same thing over and over again are against the users' agreement. Let's play like grown-ups here.

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