Death Row Inmate Issued Retrial Just Before Her Scheduled Execution, In 'Extraordinary And Extreme Rare' Court Decision
Scheduled to have been executed last Thursday, a Mississippi woman on death row has now been issued a new trial. Michelle Byrom has spent 13 years on death row after being convicted of the murder of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr. Now, a court order has granted the 57-year-old a retrial so that her case can be heard once again by a jury, this time with new evidence.
Michelle Byrom's son, Edward Byrom, Jr., had allegedly confessed to killing Edward Byrom, Sr., Michelle's husband, in several letters from jail and in an interview with a court-appointed psychologist. The opinion, released from the state Supreme Court on Monday, noted that this decision is "extraordinary and extremely rare."
Attorney General Jim Hood had requested Michelle's execution for last Thursday night, and says his office will ask the court for their reasons behind the reversal. In a statement, Hood said:
And from Michelle's attorney, David Calder:
Had Michelle been put to death, she would have been the first woman executed in Mississippi in 70 years. The defense had claimed Michelle was abused by her husband. On the other hand, prosecutors claimed Michelle plotted her husband's death by hiring her son's friend, Joey Gillis, to shoot her husband while she was being treated for double pneumonia in the hospital. That way, she could allegedly collect his life insurance policy.
As Bustle reported: