Michelle Byrom, facing execution in Mississippi for arranging her husband's murder, got a reprieve Thursday from the state Supreme Court.
The justices rejected the attorney general's request to set Thursday as the execution date. In a brief order, the court said the request for the execution was "not well taken" because the justices are still considering Byrom's motion for post-conviction relief.
Byrom was sentenced in 2000 for getting her son and one of his friends to kill her husband. But the son, who later pleaded guilty, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and has been released from prison, said in letters to his mother that he shot his father because of his abuse.
If she is put to death, Byrom would be the first woman executed in Mississippi since 1944 and the first white woman in the state's history. She is one of two women currently on the state's Death Row.
Her legal team says that she was represented at trial by lawyers who had never dealt with a death penalty case and failed to present evidence like her son's letters. Edward Byrom Jr. testified that his mother agreed to pay his friend $15,000 for the killing.