April 1, 2014
The office of state Attorney General Jim Hood is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to "enter a reasoned opinion stating the basis the reversal of the conviction of capital murder and sentence" of Michelle Byrom.
Byrom was convicted and sentenced to death for allegedly conspiring to hire a hit man to kill her husband in 1999. However, after several pieces of information Byrom's jury never saw came to light, including several alleged confessions from Byrom's son who stated his mother was not involved with the murder, the state's high court this week reversed her sentenced and gave her a new trial with a new judge.
In the motion, special assistant to the AG Marvin White Jr. writes that state and federal courts have already dispensed with each of Byrom's claims.
"Each and every claim that Byrom presented to this Court had been addressed on the merits either by this Court or the federal courts on habeas corpus review," White's motion states.
White writes that there is "an absolute need to know" the reasoning behind the Byrom decision "so as to avoid the same errors at the new trial."
"The State would assert that the Court has embarked on an unprecedented course of action that leaves everyone questioning why," the motion states.
It goes to say: "… We are left only to speculate at the Court’s reasoning. This is not the manner in which cases are reversed. Without any guidance from this Court, the State is doomed to repeat the presumed errors upon which this conviction was reversed.
"With all due respect the State would respectfully submit that the Court should stay the proceedings in this case until such time that a reasoned written opinion issues from the Court stating the basis for the reversal of this death penalty conviction that has survived all previous challenges in this Court and the Federal courts."