WASHINGTON - The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed Monday a woman's capital murder conviction and ordered a new trial in her case.
Michelle Byrom had been on death row in the southern US state since her 2000 conviction for capital murder linked to a murder-for-hire plot to kill her allegedly abusive husband, Edward Byrom Sr.
Their son, Edward Byrom Jr, had admitted to being the killer in jailhouse letters and in an interview with a court-appointed psychologist. But he recanted on the witness stand.
"Michelle Byrom's conviction for capital murder should be reversed and the case remanded to the circuit court for a new trial," the state Supreme Court said.
The court's opinion also stressed that the decision was "extraordinary and extremely rare in the context of a petition for leave to pursue post conviction relief." Edward Byrom was shot to death at his home in Iuka in 1999 while his wife was receiving treatment for double pneumonia in hospital.
Her lawyers have argued that Michelle Bryom suffered from sexual and physical abuse in her childhood and during her marriage.
She only pleaded guilty after her son accused her as part of a plea deal of masterminding the murder plot.