Stay in Mississippi; execution in Texas

In a reversal of an April decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court voted 8-1 to grant a reprieve “until further order” to Willie Manning, who was convicted in 1994 of murdering two college students. The stay came about four hours before the today’s scheduled execution.

The court did not explain its decision or put a time limit on the reprieve. The U.S. Justice Department had sent letters to  officials involved in the case raising questions about the degree of certainty expressed by F.B.I. forensic experts at Manning’s original trial.

Hopefully this stay will offer an opportunity for the DNA testing that the Innocence Project and others call for in this case. Testing all the evidence seems an absolute minimum standard in capital cases.

I grieve for those who love Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller, of whose murders Manning is convicted. An execution will not bring them back.

At 6:32 p.m. CDT, in Huntsville, Texas, Carroll Joe Parr died from a lethal dose of pentobarbital administered by the state. Parr stood convicted of the murder of 18-year-old Joel Dominguez. Although Parr denied the killing, evidence against him was strong.

Parr reportedly endured an abusive childhood. His criminal record included convictions on drug-related charges and alleged links to other crimes.

I grieve for the family and friends of Joel Dominguez.

But an execution demeans us all and perpetuates a cycle of violence. There has to be another way.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

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