"Mississippi death penalty case to go before U.S. Supreme Court," is the AP report, via the Mississippi Press.
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Jan. 10 whether to hear an appeal from a woman on Mississippi's death row who is seeking a new trial in the slaying of her husband based on claims that she was abused.
Court officials say a decision could be announced shortly after the court conference.
Michelle Byrom says she deserves a new trial because her original lawyer failed to present what could have been mitigating evidence of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband, as well as physical abuse as a child. A national organization representing battered women has filed a friend of the court brief in Byrom's support.
Prosecutors argue that the abuse issue was raised at her trial and was considered by the same judge who sentenced her to death. Both state and federal courts have already denied Byrom's appeal for a new trial.
The National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in Philadelphia, Pa., said in a friend of the court brief that the actions by Byrom's attorney were "a complete dereliction of the obligation" to represent Byrom's interests.