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Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. At the conclusion of the sentencing phase, the trial judge sentenced Byrom to death. Rehearing was denied, and the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Gillis was wearing a glove on his right hand and carrying the 9-millimeter pistol. The focus of the inquiry must be whether counsel's assistance was reasonable considering all the circumstances. Judicial scrutiny of counsel's performance must be highly deferential. Dexter denied this would cause her any problem serving as a juror in this case. After a thorough review of the record, we find no justifiable reason necessitating a change of venue in this case. The United States Supreme Court found Wiggins received ineffective assistance of counsel where his trial counsel had failed to investigate and present mitigating evidence of Wiggins's background, including physical and sexual abuse committed by his mother, by a series of foster parents, and by a Job Corps supervisor, as well as evidence of mental retardation. Byrom's attorneys stated they felt she was mentally and physically competent and had no reason to believe Byrom was under the influence of any drugs which would affect her understanding of the proceedings. Byrom argues she was given erroneous information as to potential sentences. State, 882 So.2d 36 (Miss.2004), the defendant claimed the trial judge erred in not giving the jury the third sentencing option of life with the possibility of parole which, according to Branch, would have possibly caused the jury to take the middle ground of life without parole, instead of imposing the more harsh sentence of death, or the more lenient sentence of life with the possibility of parole. State, 716 So.2d 1100, 1103 (Miss.1998), we stated: We again revisited the sentencing options afforded a capital murder defendant in Flowers v. We reaffirmed this fact in Pham, and later in Flowers.

To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. testified against his mother during the trial as part of a plea-bargain arrangement. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed Byrom's conviction and sentence. Thirty minutes later, Junior picked Gillis up at the same location. (citation omitted) ․ [A] fair assessment of attorney performance requires that every effort be made to eliminate the distorting effects of hindsight, to reconstruct the circumstances of counsel's challenged conduct, and to evaluate the conduct from counsel's perspective at the time. Stated differently, as we found on direct appeal, the trial court certainly committed no error in failing to change venue in this case. She states she was told she could receive life imprisonment with the possibility of parole but it was actually not an option at the time of her sentencing. Indeed, the petition signed by Byrom, her attorneys, and the trial judge states that Byrom understood she could be sentenced in the discretion of the trial judge to the death penalty, to life without parole, or to life imprisonment. State, 842 So.2d 531 (Miss.2003), and noted that 47-7-3(1)(f) denies parole eligibility to any person charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment under the provisions of Section 99-19-101. The stark reality of all of this is that while Byrom's trial judge did, as a matter of clear statutory law, have three sentencing options, including life imprisonment, the executive branch of state government via the Mississippi Department of Corrections, pursuant to Section 47-7-3(1)(f), would have administratively converted a life imprisonment sentence to a sentence of life imprisonment without parole eligibility.

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We have many plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really need your help for this. In a rare move at her 2000 trial, Michelle Byrom asked Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner, instead of the jury, to decide whether she should serve life in prison or be put to death. He later pleaded guilty to several charges in the murder-for-hire scheme, including conspiracy to commit murder. Junior asked Gillis if his father had been killed, and Gillis said yes. Because of the difficulties inherent in making the evaluation, a court must indulge a strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance; that is, the defendant must overcome the presumption that, under the circumstances, the challenged action might be considered sound trial strategy. Therefore, trial counsel's failure to aggressively seek a change of venue could hardly be deemed to rise to the level of rendering ineffective assistance. Byrom cites no authority in support of this argument, and the State does not respond to it. The waiver signed by the prosecutor contained similar language as to the available sentencing options. All of this having been said, so that we are crystal clear on this point, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 99-19-101(1), consistent with the legislative intent expressed via Section 47-7-3(1)(f) and this Court's decisions in Pham, Flowers and their progeny, the sentencer (jury or judge) in a capital case tried pursuant to Section 99-19-101, has in reality only two sentencing options-death, or life imprisonment without parole eligibility. Byrom fails in her argument on this point however, because she has shown no actual prejudice in being informed that one of the possible sentences to be considered by the trial judge was that of life imprisonment.

Gardner sentenced him to 50 years in prison with 20 years suspended. When Junior asked if Gillis was the one who killed his father, Gillis indicated that he did not do it. Stringer, 454 So.2d at 477 (citing Strickland, 466 U. Thus, it follows that Byrom's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to pursue a change of venue is without merit. Failure of Byrom's trial counsel to conduct an adequate investigation generally. Byrom next makes a general argument of law, citing Wiggins v. There is no question that Section 99-19-101 provides that [u]pon conviction or adjudication of guilt of a defendant of capital murder or other capital offense, the court shall conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to death, life imprisonment without eligibility for parole, or life imprisonment. The certificate of counsel signed by Byrom's trial attorneys stated, inter alia, the had explained to Byrom the maximum and minimum penalties for capital murder. There can be no doubt that, pursuant to our capital sentencing statute, Section 99-19-101, Byrom was advised as to the sentencing options available to a jury, or a judge sitting without a jury, after a capital murder conviction. We do not interpret her claim to be that she understood that by waiving a jury, the trial judge somehow became uniquely empowered with this third sentencing option of life imprisonment which would not have been available to the sentencing jury.


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