The same week that another execution occurred, Gov. Phil Bredesen has commuted the death sentence today of a convicted Memphis murderer to life imprisonment.
Bredesen’s commutation says that Michael Joe Boyd, also known as Mika’eel Abdullah Abdus-Samad, received “grossly inadequate legal representation” during his post-conviction relief hearing. Boyd was convicted of murder in the perpetration of a robbery.
That inadequate legal representation was combined with “procedural limitations,” Bredesen wrote, has “prevented the judicial system from ever comprehensively reviewing his legitimate claims of having received ineffective assistance” from his lawyers during the sentencing hearing.
“This combination of inadequate representation and procedural limitations within the judicial system raises in my mind a substantial and unresolved doubt that the trial jury would have imposed the death penalty had the defendant received competent legal representation,” Bredesen wrote.
Boyd will now be sentenced to life imprisonment for a 1986 murder while he was robbing a person who was soliciting prostitution.
Boyd was scheduled to be executed Oct. 24.
Earlier this week, Daryl Holton, who killed four of his children, was executed early Wednesday morning through electrocution.