- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
A Mississippi female death row inmate's execution has been halted as the state's high court ordered a new trial.
Convicted in 2000, Michelle Byrom was set to be the first woman executed in the state over the past 70 years, but Mississippi's Supreme Court ordered that she be given a new trial, reports the Los Angeles Times. The court said it was an "extraordinary and extremely rare" decision.
Byrom has claimed it was really her son who murdered her husband Edward Byrom Sr. in 1999. A jury found her guilty instead. Her son, Edward Jr. had written to his mother about killing his father, in what likely was a crime of passion.
The letter, according to Jackson Free Press said, "As I sat on my bed, tears of rage flowing, remembering my childhood my anger kept building and building, and I went to my car, got the 9mm, and walked to his room, peeked in, and he was asleep."
He added that he walked into the room with his eyes closed and "when I heard him move, I started firing."
These written confessions were reportedly never shown to the jury, who instead convicted her for what prosecutors said was a murder-for-hire plan, with Bryom being the mastermind. Her son's only role was to obtain and dispose of the murder weapon for his friend Joey Gillis, it was claimed.
According to Reuters, she will likely remain in jail for the time being, but will no longer be on death row. Prosecutors have said it will take time to comb through the old evidence to decide on whether to retry her or not.