A few days ago in this post, I talked about arguably the lamest prosecutor in the nation, District Attorney Forrest Allgood whose district covers Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Oktibbeha counties. In the litany of cases I missed an important one, a capital exoneration, that of Sabrina Butle:
Allgood was also the prosecutor in the case of Sabrina Butler, an 18-year-old, borderline retarded woman convicted and sentenced to death for killing her infant son. The state supreme court threw out the conviction after Allgood illegally suggested to the jury that they could infer Butler’s guilt from the fact that she didn’t testify in her own defense. After six years on death row, Butler was retried and acquitted. Here’s a surprise: A bad autopsy report was in part blamed for her conviction. Hayne didn’t actually testify that case, but I’ve exchanged emails with Butler’s defense attorneys who tell me that Hayne was advising the prosecution. The baby was later determined to have died from a kidney disorder and/or SIDS. [via the Agitator]
Butler was sentenced to death for the murder of her nine-month-old child. When she found her baby not breathing, she performed CPR and took him to the hospital. She was interrogated by the police and then prosecuted. Her conviction was overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1992. (Butler v. State, 608 So.2d 314 (Miss. 1992)). Upon re-trial, she was acquitted on Dec. 17, 1995 after a very brief jury deliberation. It is now believed that the baby may have died either of cystic kidney disease or from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Some people say you haven’t be an unusually unlucky prosecutor to convict an person, Allgood must be the most unlucky of all. [h/t to the reader who pointed out the earlier oversight via email]