Miss. to Execute Woman— for Crime Son Confessed To
Byrom to be first woman executed in state since 1944
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2014 4:19 AM CDT
This Dec. 29, 2010 photo released by the Mississippi Dept. of Corrections shows Michelle Byrom.    (AP Photo/Mississippi Department of Corrections, HO)

(Newser) – Mississippi is preparing to execute its first woman in 70 years—for a crime her son repeatedly confessed to. Michelle Byrom, 57, was found guilty of hiring a friend of her son's to kill her husband in 1999, but jurors were never shown letters in which son Edward Byrom Jr. told his mother how he had killed his father, or heard from a psychologist who said the son spoke of killing his father, the Clarion-Ledger finds. Edward Jr., who testified against his mother, was sentenced to 30 years for conspiracy but is now free on supervised release.

Byrom's lawyers failed to submit mitigating evidence on her behalf showing that she "suffered a lifetime of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse," or that she suffered numerous ailments including a mental disorder that caused her to swallow rat poison. "John Grisham couldn't write this story," the director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi tells the Jackson Free Press. Former state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr., who favored a new trial for Byrom, says he is appalled that the state plans to execute her this week. "There’s no way justice was done in this case," he says. "If an execution is allowed to proceed, we all are complicit in it in Mississippi."

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
The Prophet
Mar 30, 2014 12:18 PM CDT
People often confess to crimes they didn't commit. This is common knowledge in law enforcement. The only question is did she get a fair trial. The husband is DEAD. Does anyone care?
Jack Dogg
Mar 27, 2014 2:22 PM CDT
No problem here. Execute them side by side and then go get the other 385 that need it and do them the same night. One state down and 49 to go to clean out the death row scum.
Mar 25, 2014 11:52 AM CDT
Ok wow so let me just get this straight! The son confessed to murdering his father, and they want to execute the mother who was sexually and physically abused by this man? Perhaps they thought that she may have had something to do with it because how could she not have known what was going on in her own house? But how and why did they let the boy go free when he confessed of murder? That is so backwards and I'm sitting here hoping that I read that wrong. If I am wrong, can someone please explain this to me because I am confused? but if I am right, I'm going to keep my butt out of Mississippi.