By Betty Fokker on March 25, 2014
Seriously, there are days I wonder about Mississippi … the days ending in the letter “y”. If it weren’t for the fact The Sweet Potato Queens were from there, I’d be willing to write the whole place off. Which reminds me. Y’all want this book: Fat is the New 30 by the Boss Queen of the Sweet Potato Queens, Jill Connor Brown.
Anyway, Mississippi is all set to execute Michelle Byrom for the murder of her abusive husband. Now, even if she had shot the SOB I would argue mitigating circumstances, since he beat her and forced her to have sex with other men while he watched. Plus, Michelle Byrom had already be abused and forced into prostitution by her step-father as a teen, which is why she ran away from home and married Edward Byrom, Sr. in the first place. However, the part that leaves me gobsmacked is that:
“as multiple media outlets,including The Atlantic, have pointed out , is the jury was never presented key pieces of evidence that may prove her innocence. One major piece of evidence are letters written by her son Edward Byrom Jr., in which he confesses to the crime. The full letter can be viewed here … Byrom Jr., Michelle Byrom and Joey Gillis, the friend who prosecutors say was hired for the murder, were all arrested as part of a conspiracy. Byrom Jr. testified against his mother, in exchange for a reduced sentence after he was arrested as part of the conspiracy to the kill his father. He is now free (on a supervised release). Gillis was released from prison in 2009. Byrom Jr. was the only person who tested positive for gunpowder out of the three arrested for the conspiracy. In addition to the omission of Byrom Jr.'s confession letters, defense attorney's also never presented evidence about Michelle Byrom's long history of abuse and mental illness.”
Jesus wept. There is so much reasonable doubt here I could use it to fill a ball pit and frolic in it. Not to mention her defense team is made up of attorneys suffering from brain damage, since “Believing she would not be convicted, her attorneys opted not to present any mitigating evidence, including the abuse she sustained as a child or the abuse Byrom Jr. endured … Michelle Byrom's attorneys waived her right to have a jury determine her sentence and a judge sentenced her to death. Her conviction was upheld by the Mississippi state Supreme Court, but not without strong objections from dissenting judges. One dissenting member, Judge Jess Dickinson, argued that owing to poor legal counsel she deserved a retrial” but of COURSE no one listened to him.
The US Supreme Court could give a shit less and is refusing to hear the case. That means that “Unless the courts or Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant intervene, Michelle Byrom could be executed by lethal injection as soon as Thursday.”
In a nutshell, a woman who was raped and abused as a teen by her step-father, then raped and abused by her husband, has been symbolically raped by the “justice” system and the male judges who didn’t give a rat’s hairy testicle what she’d been through or the fokking facts of the case. As an encore, they are going to take it up a notch and do something even her step-dad and husband didn’t do – kill her.
Pardon me whilst I pull out my hair in frustration and rage.
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