MS High Court Halts Execution In Case Involving Questionable FBI Testimony


The Mississippi Supreme Court issued a stay of execution Willie Jerome Manning hours before he was set to die by lethal injection, reports the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Attorney General Jim Hood opposed the request for a stay, saying it is just a delay tactic and that there was a “mountain of evidence” against Manning, including a confession to his cousin. Manning was given two death sentences for the 1992 slayings of two college students. He had also received a death sentence for the later murder of two women. The U.S. Justice Department said FBI testimony on testing of bullet and hair evidence in the case had been overreaching for technology at the time. Manning's attorney, David Voisin, said: “The order demonstrates that the court is taking our pleading seriously and giving serious consideration to giving us (DNA) testing or a new trial.” A dissenting justice criticized the Justice Department for for working with the Innocence Project and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in their evaluations.

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