Miss. death penalty case before US high court - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Miss. death penalty case before US high court

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Feb. 21 whether to hear an appeal from a woman on Mississippi's death row who is seeking a new trial in the 1999 slaying of her husband based on claims that she was abused.

Court officials say a decision could be announced shortly after the court conference.

Michelle Byrom argues her original lawyer failed to present evidence of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband. Prosecutors say the abuse issue was raised at her trial and denied.

Byrom, now 56, was convicted of capital murder in 2000. In a rare move, she asked the judge, instead of the jury, to decide her sentence. The judge sentenced her to death.

State and federal courts have denied Byrom's appeals for a new trial.

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