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Mississippi court blocks execution of Willie Jerome Manning

By Layne Weiss     May 7, 2013 in Crime
Parchman - The Mississippi Supreme Court has blocked the execution of Willie Jerome Manning just hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection.
The court voted 8-1 to indefinitely delay Mr. Manning's execution amid questions involving evidence in the case. Justice Michael Randolph was the only one to object, Democracy Now reports.
Manning was set to die at 6 PM CDT at the Mississippi state prison in Parchman for the murders of two college students in 1992, The Associated Press reports. He was convicted in 1994.
Last week, the Justice Department announced that there were flaws in the FBI's forensic testimony of the case.
Despite the FBI admitting its errors in recent days, Manning's execution was set to go ahead as scheduled until Tuesday afternoon. The Mississippi Supreme Court had previously denied motions made by Manning's attorneys to delay the execution so that DNA testing could be conducted, the IB Times reports. A new error was revealed as late as early Tuesday afternoon and it was still unclear whether or not Mr. Manning would be executed Tuesday evening.
Manning remained optimistic that his execution would be stopped, according to Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps.
"He said he had faith in God and all was in His hands. He said he had faith," Epps told The AP.
The Innocence Project applauded the court ruling. "Hopefully Manning who has spent 20 years on death row maintaining his innocence in the deaths of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller will now have the opportunity to do DNA testing that could prove his innocence," the group said in a statement. "This past week, the FBI notified the state that there were flaws in both the hair and ballistics evidence that was used to convict Manning."
More about willie jerome manning, Mississippi Supreme Court, stay of execution, FBI, Dna evidence
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