WJTV News Channel 12 - Did Mississippi Woman On Death Row Get A Fair Trial?

Did Mississippi Woman On Death Row Get A Fair Trial?

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Convicted murderer Michelle Byrom could be the first woman in 70 years executed in Mississippi.

Attorney General Jim Hood had requested that 56 year-old Byrom be put to death by lethal injection tomorrow. But her fate is now in limbo. The state supreme court could hear an appeal in the case.

Legal experts and her supporters believe Byrom didn't get a fair trial and she didn’t have effective legal counsel.

Reporter Ronni Mott wrote an eye opening article about Bryom's case for the Jackson Free Press newspaper that's getting national attention.

Byrom was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999 of the Tishomingo county murder-for-hire killing of her husband Edward Byrom, Sr.

Once she started investigating the case, Mott says she was disturbed by what she discovered. 

"There was a lot of evidence the jury never heard. First her son confessed to the crime four times… and even to the court-appointed psychologist," Mott said.

Also according to Mott, the prosecutor who tried Byrom's case later told a newspaper, "Joey Gillis who was supposed to be the triggerman… did not pull the trigger so that leaves Michelle Byrom… and her son who's confessed."

Former Supreme Court justice Oliver Diaz says when the case initially came before the high court, he was ready to overturn Byrom's murder conviction because of all the serious errors he saw.

"Even minor errors that would normally be harmless in other cases in a death penalty case is not a harmless error when the death penalty can be invoked," Diaz said.

Gillis and Byrom’s son have both been released from prison after serving time for their role in the murder.

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