ATLANTA — A Gwinnett County mother convicted in April of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter to death then burning her body was sentenced to die this month - but that time frame has come and gone.
A jury took less than three hours to find Tiffany Moss guilty of the horrific crimes against her daughter Emani Moss, April 30. As required by Georgia law, a judge is required to set a date for the death penalty to be carried out between 20 and 60 days of when a defendant is sentenced. Judge George Hutchinson set Moss's execution to be carried out the week of June 7 through the 14. Watch the moment the death penalty was read.
However, there was no way Moss would have been put to death that soon because death penalty sentences have an automatic appeal process.
“There is no chance she will be executed in 2019,” explained Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, who prosecuted Moss.
The appeals process is lengthy. Moss, who represented herself during the death penalty trial, can either file the appeal herself or ask the court for attorneys to help her file the appeal.
She can also choose to file no appeal at all. If that happens, the Supreme Court of Georgia will look at the court transcripts and case files to make certain the trial was fair.
“I would certainly consider you appoint counsel with whatever appeal,” Judge Georgia Hutchinson advised Moss after she was sentenced to death.
Georgia Capital Defender’s group has filed a request for a new trial on six points. They claim Moss was not competent to act as her own attorney.
Moss barely uttered a word during her trial. She questioned no witnesses, offered no opening or closing statements, and refused to ask for leniency during her sentencing phase. Moss stared straight ahead for most of the trial showing emotion at only two points during testimony - once, when her husband Eman testified against her. Moss stared at him as he was on the stand and followed him with her eyes as he left the court.
The second time was when prosecutors presented the trash can in which Emani's body was found as evidence. Prosecutors said the Mosses tried to burn the 11-year-old's body inside the can to get rid of evidence. Tiffany looked away and seemed upset with looking at it.
Emani’s father is serving a life sentence for his role in the murder.
Tiffany Moss is the only woman on Georgia’s death row.