Killer mom seeks to overturn sentence

Jan. 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM
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UNION, S.C., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A South Carolina woman convicted of murdering her two sons says she wants a hearing to overturn her life sentence.

Susan Smith, who was convicted in the 1994 drowning deaths of her two young sons in Union County, S.C., has filed a handwritten letter requesting a hearing in which she plans to say her rights were violated after her arrest, the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald Journal reported Saturday.

The newspaper said that in the letter, Smith, 38, contends that she was questioned without the presence of an attorney when she admitted to police that she she rolled her vehicle into a lake with her young sons, Alex and Michael, still strapped in their car seats.

Smith also reportedly claims that her defense attorney was incompetent and didn't allow her to plead guilty or to ask the jury to consider mitigating circumstances such as the presence of battered women's syndrome, childhood trauma and past domestic violence.

Union County Clerk of Court Freddie Gault told the Herald Journal Smith's hearing request will be forwarded to the state attorney general.

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