Tag Archives: Willie Manning

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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The clock runs for Willie Manning

I ask you to join me in calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Willie Manning’s execution and order DNA testing!

The state of Mississippi has set May 7 as the execution date for Willie Manning.

I do not know if Willie Manning committed the acts for which he stands convicted. But I believe it is utterly unconscionable to execute him without examining all the possible evidence.

The Innocence Project notes:

DNA testing can provide definitive proof of guilt or innocence. As the dissenters on the Mississippi Supreme Court noted, it could also identify the person responsible for the crime. Testing in this case will provide surety that Mississippi is not committing a travesty of justice by executing an innocent man.

I do not know if Willie Manning is guilty. Do the test and see what it reveals.

I do not know about all the utterly unconscionable acts and travesties of justice occur daily. I cannot know about them all. I cannot stop them all. I grieve for that.

What I do know is that the state plans to execute Willie Manning on May 7. And evidence remains untested. And that is wrong.

So I call on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Willie Manning’s execution and order DNA testing. I encourage you to do the same.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty

Governor Bryant – test the evidence

I do not believe in capital punishment. I believe the state should not kill. But, if the state does, then the state has an awesome responsibility. That includes being as certain as possible that no available evidence should go unexamined and untested.

In that spirit, I have asked Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Willie Manning’s execution and order DNA testing of crime scene evidence. You can too.

The Innocence Project writes about the case:

Willie Manning is on death row in Mississippi, awaiting execution for the abduction and murder of two college students in 1992. He was convicted on circumstantial evidence, including the testimony of a jailhouse informant who had previously given a statement implicating another person. No physical evidence has ever linked Willie to the crime, and he has always maintained his innocence. He has been seeking DNA testing of crime scene evidence for years.

Incredibly, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that there is “overwhelming evidence of guilt,” so no DNA testing is needed. His execution has been set for May 7th. Eighteen men have been exonerated by DNA testing after being sentenced to death, including Kennedy Brewer of Mississippi. We are asking the Governor to stay the execution and order the DNA testing that will definitively prove Willie Manning’s guilt or innocence. Join us in calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Willie’s execution and order DNA testing!

My letter has gone. Will you send one?

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty