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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rankin County, Mississippi
    Posts
    5

    Question Convicted of Murder, but it Was in Self-Defense

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Mississippi

    I know this will be a bit long but it is a synopsis I have typed up of the issue at hand and I would appreciate any assistance anyone has!

    Female convicted in 1999 for murder. The defending attorney was to represent her on grounds of self-defense. The facts of the case are as follows:

    • She was 3 months pregnant at the time of the incident (July 1997)
    • There are/were approximately 15 police reports never introduced during the trial to show the history of domestic abuse (these are being withheld by local government even to this day). I have personally seen them and know of their existence but am told they don't exist.
    • She and the deceased were not in a relationship at the time of the incident
    • The knife, which was never in her possession, was never recovered.
    • She admits to having a gun in her purse for her protection but never pulled that gun
    • She was cut twice (across the forehead and upper arm) during the assault against her; the deceased stated he was going to “kill her and her baby”
    • She was never given the opportunity to fully present her self defense.

    Those are just a few of the facts that surround this case. I have the transcript and other documentation including her attempts for PCR and other appeals; all of which have been denied due to "filing timely". Her attorney did not represent her appropriately or advise her of what she needed to do on follow up. Basically, the prosecution wanted a conviction, the defending attorney handed that to him on a silver platter. She has been incarcerated since January of 1999 and has not seen her children since before that time as they were sent to California to live with her sister.

    Any assistant of advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Beatin' my head against the MS Judicial System

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: What is the Next Step for Person Convicted of Murder in Self Defense Situation?

    I would read the new Grisham book "An Innocent Man".

    Seriously. It has some parallels to your case, and will give you some idea of the process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rankin County, Mississippi
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: What is the Next Step for Person Convicted of Murder in Self Defense Situation?

    I am so sorry; I thought I had replied to this message. I actually have that book but haven't taken the time to read it because I've been so busy researching what she can do at this point to prove her innocence. I really appreciate your help; I am very frustrated because no one seems to care about those who are serving time for crimes they aren't guilty of. I can't even get the Governor of my state to meet with me in spite of going through all the departments that he put in place in order for me to have that meeting. It's just such a mess and so obviously a railroad. I get to see her this weekend though and I really wanted to give her some good news.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: What is the Next Step for Person Convicted of Murder in Self Defense Situation?

    Did she appeal her conviction and has she pursued any post-conviction remedies under state law? Also has she pursued federal habeas corpus relief? After that lapse of time she may have procedural barriers to overcome regarding any chance at relief within the judiciary. Only way to really find out is to contact an attorney in Miss. who has a practice including post-conviction relief to see what is available to her at this time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rankin County, Mississippi
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: What is the Next Step for Person Convicted of Murder in Self Defense Situation?

    Her first appeal was done by her attorney (which was a joke). All other appeals she has done herself and they were denied based on timely filing. Of course, I know ignorance of the law isn't a defense BUT she wasn't even aware of a PCR or WHC (what they were) or anthing like that until other inmates were telling her what to do. She was late filing most of those and therefore denied. Nothing has been done on the Federal level. I have been trying to find a pro-bono lawyer in the area to help her (without much success as you can imagine). I am not an attorney and therefore don't want to do anything for fear of it being the wrong thing (or accused of practicing law without a license) and messing things up worse than they already are. I am just desparately trying to find someone who has the knowledge of the law that I lack to read over her transcript (it's 230 pages including jury instructions, etc.). I've had a few of my friends who are reasonably intelligent people read it and they are as shocked as I am that she was convicted and also see the blatant mis-representation not to mention the credibility of the witnesses being seriously in question. None of the prior assault charges were introduced during the trial. I have requested copies of them; have seen them with my own eyes on the computer but am now told they don't exist. People are friendly and helpful from this "small" town until I mention a name and then they go cold and suddenly are not able to help me. Just so sad that our country allows this type of thing to happen. Anyway, I'm sorry to ramble... I'm frustrated! LOL

    To answer your question on the Federal HCR, that has not been done and my understanding on that is that there is not a time frame and I just want to be sure that it's done right so she can be home with her children where she belongs.

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