March 18, 2014
Last week, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood was in Geneva, Switzerland representing the U.S. before the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Hood, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi, serves as president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General, and "responded to the committee’s questions concerning the death penalty, domestic violence, human trafficking, corporal punishment, zero tolerance in schools, life without parole for juvenile offenders, and reinstatement of voting rights for felons."
It would be interesting to know exactly what those questions, and Hood's responses, were. Especially considering that just a few weeks ago, Hood requested execution dates for two condemned Mississippi prisoners.
At Hood's request, Charles Ray Crawford and Michelle Byrom are scheduled to be put to death on March 26 and March 27, respectively.
Crawford was convicted of the 1993 killing of a college student named Kristy Ray in Tippah County.
Byrom was convicted of murder-for-hire in 1999 in connection with the death of her husband, Edward Byrom Sr. Even though big questions hang over Byrom's case, whose son wrote several letters confessing to the crime and that his mother did not participate in it, Hood moved ahead with planning her execution anyway.
Through a news statement, Hood said of his trip to human-rights mission to Geneva:
“It was indeed an honor to be one of the attorneys to defend America’s human rights record. ...It was rewarding to clarify many international misconceptions about Mississippi’s civil rights record and that of other states and our federal government.”