the state of mississippi is preparing to execute a prisoner of african descent tonight, despite an usual admission from the fbi: its original analysis of the evidence contained errors. willie jerome manning was convicted of murdering tiffany miller & jon steckler, two white college students, in 1992.
the execution will proceed, even after prosecutors & state courts refused to allow new dna testing which could prove manning's innocence. the justice department sent a letter saying one analyst's testimony at trial "exceeded the limits of the science & was, therefore, invalid."
manning's attorneys argue no physical evidence ties him to the murders - testing hair samples & other evidence could identify a different killer. but in a 5-to-4 decision last month, mississippi's state supreme court refused to grant a new dna test, citing what it called "conclusive, overwhelming evidence of guilt."
in addition to the new dna test, which was denied, manning's attorneys say prosecutors relied on two key witnesses whose credibility has since come under question. also, concerns have been raised about alleged racial bias in the selection of the jury whom found manning guilty.
vanessa potkin, a senior staff attorney at the innocence project said, "we need someone to step in. it is unconscionable that an execution would go forward where there is biological evidence that can cut to the truth & show whether or not he did the crime. what is anybody afraid of?"
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.