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Mississippi to Execute Man Without DNA Testing Crucial Evidence

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: ethics, usa, justice, DNA testing )

- 2150 days ago -
Willie Manning is on death row in Mississippi, awaiting execution for the abduction and murder of two college students in 1992. Join us in calling on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay Willie's execution and order DNA testing! (Only for Americans.)


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Nicole W (646)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 5:59 am
Thank You for Taking Action for Willie Manning ~ thank you Teresa

Mariann Rannenberg (158)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 6:51 am
Thanks again Dear Friend for this one. You bet I signed. Everyone should be allowed a DNA test to prove if they are innocent or guilty. Thanks Teresa.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 6:54 am

Absolutely signed! Thanks, Teresa.


Saturday May 4, 2013, 8:50 am
Signed, thanks Teresa.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 10:00 am
Noted and Signed!! No reason why DNA testing can not be done on this man first! Thanks Teresa!

Giana Peranio - Paz (398)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 10:38 am
Noted and signed. There is almost no excuse with technology today not to test DNA to confirm identity or evidence.

Edwin M (346)
Saturday May 4, 2013, 5:38 pm
Signed, thank you Teresa

Lynn D (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:55 am
Noted and signed, thanks!

Veronique L (209)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 3:00 am
So signed and shared Teresa!

Patricia H. (440)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 3:07 am

. (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 4:31 am
Can't sign it because it didn't take my ZIP code,but noted. Thanks for sharing. That's terrible! They should look at the evidence.

Gloria picchetti (304)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 4:49 am
I can't believe "the best country in the world" would execute a prisoner when there is more evidence to examine.

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:35 am
Then, where can we find the evidence?

Tina P (30)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:47 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:54 am

pam w (139)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 6:44 am

Jaime Alves (52)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 6:48 am
Noted, USA only.!!

Mike M (40)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 7:10 am

Ro H (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 7:19 am

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 7:43 am
Unable to sign. Pity.

Shirley Elliott (69)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 8:31 am
Noted, but unable to sign.

Effie Ligon (57)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 8:57 am
With the advent of DNA testing, so many who have been wrongfully imprisoned have been set free. There is absolutely no excuse for an elected official to not do everything in their power to protect ALL of his or her citizens from injustice. The technology is there, use it!

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 9:46 am
Thank you! (s, n, p, t)

Esther Z (94)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 10:26 am
Noted and signed.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 10:45 am
Noted and shared.

shirley s (0)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 12:47 pm
The court has erred in judgement and violated Constitutional Rights and Freedoms; If DNA can be used to convict then a person has a Right to get DNA test to exonerate. Capital Punishment is pre-meditated murder and not sanctioned by God and claim thereof is wrong as those Statutes and Principles are from pre-Moses culture and other cultures. Injustice serves injustice and every country is beginning to see the result of perverting the Law as the Law is moral and ethical which is now perversely reasoned as immorality is morality...

Eddie O (95)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 12:54 pm
It's so wrong, and amazing, that some people are so anxious to kiss others without even letting the evidence be totally examined! What a disgrace for this governor if he let's this happen.

Bonita Annis (20)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 1:41 pm
I have noted, signed and shared.
This is appalling. It is not justice. If there is viable evidence that has not been DNA tested to prove or disprove this man's involvement in this crime, I for one, want to know why a man is going to be put to death for a crime he may not have committed. There should be an uproar in America about this "kangaroo court" type of "justice". May 7th, mark it on your calendar. If he dies without HIS chance at Justice, then we have failed him..

David Johnson (13)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:08 pm
Signed and Noted!Thanks

Lois Jordan (63)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:26 pm
Signed & noted. Thanks, Teresa.

MmAway M (522)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:29 pm
Good Grief, when you have the technology for cotton picken sake USE IT. If he is guilty this will prove it without a shadow of a doubt, if not, do more investigating period. Or,are we resorting to the Hang Em High Days???

MmAway M (522)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:31 pm
Sorry, got wound up and wanted to say THANK YOU TERESA for posting...I actually, have been frowning while I was reading this and the comments this is barbaric!

lee e (114)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:38 pm
Every convicted prisoner whose life is dependent on DNA should be granted the right, and it should be the state's responsibility to Always check DNA - if it could bring about a change in justice - if not - then woe unto the governor who's responsible for the lives lost on his command!

Robert K (31)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:45 pm
You know the thinking of the court. I ran into it when I was in the Army in Alabama. On the bus from Chattanooga to Huntsville at the rest stop Blacks were not allowed inside. They had separate bathrooms and water fountains, but couldn't buy food. This was the waning days of institutionalized Jim Crow. Not a lt has changed since then. After all, it's just another....well, you know, no harm done to Mr Whitey and that's all that matters.

God, so many bible thumpers are so sick!

Birgit W (160)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:49 pm
Unfortunately for US only.

Margery Coffey (8)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 2:50 pm
We are one of the barbaric countries that still murder our citizens without a second thought. After executing murders by murdering them for 237 years now it has not stopped murder. This is an expensive failure. It costs far more to murder criminals than it does to give them a life sentence and mean it. How can we possibly tell people we believe that murder is wrong when our government practices it constantly with death sentences, drone killings and endless wars? The problem is killing. Killing is never the right solution.

Jo S (619)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 4:04 pm
Thank you so much Teresa for bringing this to my attention.
No DNA no execution! This is craziness!
Signed, noted & shared.

Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:18 pm
read and noted and signed the petition on 5-5-13 the law states innocent until proven guilty they need to go back and check for dna with all these modern tools available today someone should be able to figure that one out you just can not go around and execute someone without all the facts this man deserves to be treated fairly.

Michael M (5)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:29 pm
Mississippi State Motto: Justice is irrelevant!

Robert T (62)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 5:39 pm
Signed and Noted.
Is Mississippi too lazy to run a DNA test to prove the guilt or innocence of an individual? How many businesses would want to relocate in a state that holds justice in such low regard?

Lynn Squance (235)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 6:02 pm
To not allow DNA testing at this point is criminal!

Does the state's position not to allow DNA testing mean that they know Manning is not guilty and they know who is?
Does it mean that there is a white man that is guilty, and not a black man?
Are there two separate and unequal sets of laws in Mississippi?
A DNA test provides more certainty than any other, especially given that there has been changing witness statements. Why are you so afraid of delaying an execution to do a DNA test that should have been done earlier?
It seems lynching is back!

What utter barbarians!

Eddie O (95)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 6:02 pm
OOPS! Don't know how I typed "kiss" instead of "kill". Obviously a big difference in meaning. :-)

And, on a side note, this just came to me but this may be about money more than anything else. Think of it, if they kill him and say he was guilty, the expenses are over. No more food, no more medicine, no more utilities spent on this person, they save face, plus it makes available a cell for possibly a hard core pot smoker.

However, if we let the evidence show he is innocent, if that's the case, then they could have a major law suit and owe a lot of money, and have to suffer the embarrassment of locking up an innocent man in the first place, on only circumstantial evidence.

Sadly, MONEY often times rules here in the land "Of The People", NOT!

Elizabeth Fuller (134)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 6:09 pm
Noted and signed, thanks Teresa and for the nice card too :)

Kayleigh Harter (9)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 8:27 pm

Stuart Thomas (497)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 8:47 pm
Noted, signed, and submitted. Thank you, Teresa.

Edith B (146)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 9:17 pm
noted and signed. Thanks for posting.

Barbara V (51)
Sunday May 5, 2013, 10:04 pm
Good Lord, I can't imagine their doing a thing like doing the guy in without DNA evidence. What's stopping them? Are they embarrassed at being called on the carpet? Well then, they need to have it pulled out from under them..

paul m (93)
Monday May 6, 2013, 1:18 am

Signed,,,,That in my opinion is insufficient evidence..

David K (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 2:11 am
Mississippi should be ashamed of itself. The death penalty suffers from the disadvantage that after an execution it is too late to discover that the victim was in fact innocent. It therefore behoves any state still indulging in the death penalty that every care is taken to ensure the accused is in fact guilty. UK abolished the death penalty after two examples in about 1945/8 of victims found to be innocent after their execution. Therefore Mississippi should search for DNA evidence especially when the accused requests it. Circumstantial evidence supported by prisoner's hearsay evidence is especially suspect.

Rose Becke (141)
Monday May 6, 2013, 3:57 am

Christine Linley (12)
Monday May 6, 2013, 6:01 am
Sadly can not sign as outside uk but trying to find another route

Thomas P (275)
Monday May 6, 2013, 12:31 pm
Noted and signed...thanks Teresa

Leann Gail Huber (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 12:51 pm
Signed. A person should be given every chance to prove his innocence. To deny valid testing that would exonerate or prove guilt is ridiculous.

Irene S (69)
Monday May 6, 2013, 1:24 pm
Noted, but can´t signe.

Ancil S (175)
Monday May 6, 2013, 1:56 pm
Done. I'm ashamed of my home state of mississippi for this. This state has always been cruel and unjust. Thanks for sharing.

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Monday May 6, 2013, 2:10 pm
Mississippi obvioulsly has no shame or any sense of justice. They still live in the dark ages.

Lynne Buckley (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 2:41 pm
This is wrong and shameful. Test the evidence!!

Phyllis P (232)
Monday May 6, 2013, 4:10 pm
Noted,signed and shared. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I have advocated in cases like this. Good for you for sharing!!!

Paulett Simunich (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 4:18 pm
Signed , and shared.......In this day and age,,,,when DNA testing is available and almost full proof....why is there hesitation...and .in this case......not even given a moment of thought.....Horrible !!!!

Phyllis P (232)
Monday May 6, 2013, 4:18 pm
Thank You for Taking Action for Willie Manning

Ro H (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 5:28 pm

Barbara W (342)
Monday May 6, 2013, 5:36 pm
Signed and shared..
One must ask the "Question" why would anyone refuse someone a DNA test? It makes one wonder if someone is uneasy about what the DNA test may reveal. A man is fighting for his life and life is precious. Too many innocent people have been executed..Allow for the DNA test to make sure you are not executing an innocent.

Charlene B (4)
Monday May 6, 2013, 7:03 pm
No sense in not testing DNA.How many innocent people have been set free because of it.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 6, 2013, 10:40 pm

Candy L (473)
Monday May 6, 2013, 11:40 pm
Its Mississippi! Signed, Thank You for Taking Action for Willie Manning

Alice C (1797)
Monday May 6, 2013, 11:45 pm

Ro H (0)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:52 am

Joy Catalan (95)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 6:11 am
why the rush?what is there to hide that a man being tried for an alleged crime committed is denied the maximum due process?what if he was just a fall guy?...

Stephanie Reap (192)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 8:49 am
absolutely signed!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 10:51 am
Of course signed!

I love the Innocence Project -- they do great, essential work to improve our criminal justice system, find the faults & weak spots that cause wrongful conviction, get DNA testing for convicted people who cry & shout their innocence, get wrongful convictions overturned, & finally get the innocent exonerated.

Just recently I posted this article from their site - "Michael Morton's Prosecutor Charged With 3 Felonies for Concealing Evidence of His Innocence - Morton Served 25 Yrs" -- there is so much injustice going on in courts, police stations, etc, & people are buried for dozens of years! (

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 1:04 pm
US only, thanks.

Muriel Servaege (53)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 1:05 pm
WHY is Willie Manning denied DNA testing???

Winn Adams (179)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 1:45 pm

Carolyn L (24)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 1:52 pm
It's called "legal lynching"!

Lisa N (204)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 2:37 pm
Thank You for Taking Action for Willie Manning

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 3:31 pm
I went to sign, but it stated "they granted Mississippi death row inmate Willie Manning a stay of execution four hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection." Thank God for that. No victim should be prosecuted for anything without the DNA test. Glad they voted not to do it.
Thanks Teresa

Kathryn Niell (112)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 3:34 pm
I read that Mr. Manning received a stay of execution as well, though nothing was said as to whether the DNA evidence would finally be tested. I certainly hope so! And if it turns out he is innocent, as he has claimed all along, he will symbolize why the death penalty should be eliminated. No innocent person should be unjustly executed!

Charlene Rush (79)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 4:53 pm
May I repeat?
As Margaret Mead so aptly stated:
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Freya H (345)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 6:35 pm
This is outrageous! Mississippi doesn't allow DNA evidence? What's next, putting people on trial for witchcraft?

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:06 pm
Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ... Yippee! ...Yippee! ... Yippee! ...

From 'the Atlantic' - "Hours Before Execution, a State Court Grants Willie Manning a Stay" - "A capital case about race & scientific evidence, about jailhouse snitches & faulty federal testimony, comes to a screeching halt".
Andrew Cohen, May 7 2013, 5:31 PM ET

By a vote of 8-1, the Supreme Court of Mississippi this afternoon halted the scheduled execution of Willie Manning just hours before the convicted murderer was to be put to death by lethal injection at the Parchman prison in Sunflower. In their brief order, which you can read for yourself here, the justices did not give any reason for blocking the execution, and it is unclear at this time exactly how the case will proceed from here. (For The Atlantic's coverage of the case, please see the "More On" box below)

Manning, who is black, was convicted in 1994 for the murder of two white university students in 1992. He has maintained his innocence ever since, amid troublesome (and GROWING) questions about the ACCURACY and RELIABILITY of the evidence on which his conviction and death sentence are based. Manning's long-ago trial was marked by RACIAL BIAS in jury selection, for example, and a JAILHOUSE INFORMANT, who incriminated Manning in 1994, has since SOUGHT TO RECANT his trial testimony."

(& if you have read what the Innocence Project says about failures & faults in our criminal justice system, you will know that prosecutors' & police reliance on jailhouse snitches is on the list of dangerous practices: when they have no proof to incriminate someone they want to nail, prosecutors & police often resort to jailhouse snitches, whose 'testimony' is repaid with either priviledges or reduced prison terms)

"But the Mississippi court's order Tuesday is likely based upon the scientific evidence that was and was not introduced at trial. Manning's attorneys have long argued that state officials should test DNA and fingerprint evidence from the crime scene -- evidence that has never been tested and that would either incriminate Manning definitively or perhaps identify someone else who may have committed the crimes. The state has consistently refused to undertake this testing even though the FBI has offered to do it, and Mississippi has a remarkable recent record of exonerating criminal defendants in such a fashion.

As a matter of law, the absence of this testing from a shaky case like this was likely enough to warrant a stay of Manning's execution. But the state's refusal to test its DNA evidence was made even more pronounced over the past few days by the intervention of federal officials. Since May 2, the Justice Department has sent three letters to the attorneys in the case announcing that the feds now are backing away from the "ballistics" and "hair fiber" testimony their so-called "expert" testified about at Manning's trial. State prosecutors heavily relied on that now-discredited evidence at trial -- as have state court judges ever since -- as proof that Manning's conviction was secure enough to warrant his execution.

The state came within four hours of executing Manning despite the conceded inaccuracy and unreliability of the scientific evidence against him, despite the willingness of a jailhouse informant to recant, despite racial bias in jury selection. It came within hours of executing the man, even though the scientific evidence that could exonerate him was never tested. No matter what happens now -- and don't forget Manning is still a long way from being out of trouble -- it is a credit to the eight Mississippi justices who voted for the stay that they were willing to change their minds about this case. Last month, by a vote of 5-4, this same court refused to require the DNA testing.

Today's order, by contrast, is a mark of GREAT DISHONOR to the lone dissenting justice, Michael K. Randolph, who in just a few paragraphs helped illustrate the dubious rationale behind so many of these flawed capital cases. To Justice Randolph, the grave error in this case was not the false testimony against Manning or the lack of DNA testing, it was the fact that his lawyers this week failed to submit affidavits with the letters from federal officials. Then, in a passage as unhinged as any I have ever read in a judicial opinion, Justice Randolph gave full voice to his real frustrations about the result here. Of the Justice Department's timely intervention in this story, Justice Randolph wrote:

"The letter also states that the Department of Justice is "assist[ing] [the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers] in their evaluations." "The Innocence Project supports a moratorium on capital punishment." The "NACDL has been an outspoken critic of the death penalty system. Of critical concern is the language contained in the first FBI report stating that, "[g]iven the abbreviated time frame for review, the FBI requests the Innocence Project (IP) to advise as to whether or not they agree with the FBI's conclusions as soon as possible."

Although the connectivity and expediency by which this review was accomplished is mind boggling, I should not be surprised, given that the families of the victims of the clandestine "Fast and Furious" gun running operation can't get the Department of Justice to identify the decision makers (whose actions resulted in the death of a border agent and many others) after years of inquiry, and that this is the same Department of Justice that grants and enforces Miranda warnings to foreign enemy combatants." [emphasis in original]

While Willie Manning will live for at least a few more months, nothing about today's order guarantees him a reversal of his conviction, or a new trial, or a new hearing about jury selection or that jailhouse snitch or those discredited federal experts, or any DNA and fingerprint testing. Those questions are left for another day, and both Manning's lawyers and state attorneys now are waiting for further guidance from the court on what happens next. We haven't heard the last of Willie Manning, in order words -- or Justice Randolph, either, for that matter."

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:33 pm
From 'the Atlantic' - link to the article posted in above comment - "Hours Before Execution, a State Court Grants Willie Manning a Stay" - "A capital case about race & scientific evidence, about jailhouse snitches & faulty federal testimony, comes to a screeching halt"

Also From 'the Atlantic' - 'MORE ON THE WILLIE MANNING TRIAL':

May 2 2013 - "A Ghost of Mississippi: The Willie Manning Capital Case" - "On the eve of his execution, state officials say there should be no DNA or fingerprint testing for a condemned man who maintains his innocence.":

Excerpt 1--> "... /...The 'jailhouse informant' who once told trial jurors that Manning 'confessed' to the crime, has since recanted, TELLING DEFENSE LAWYERS he thought he would RECEIVE "CONSIDERATION" FROM PROSECUTORS for INCRIMINATING Manning. .../..." (Like I said!)

Excerpt 2--> "RACIAL BIAS": ".../...Over and over again, Manning's prosecutors excluded black jurors from his trial, sometimes for no other reason than that they read "black" magazines..../..."

Excerpt 3--> "THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE: The most important reason why the Manning case deserves a closer look before it is too late is the failure of state officials to use modern techniques to test DNA and fingerprints from the crime scene. Last month, in rejecting Manning's latest claims, the state supreme court's majority ruled that the defendant was not entitled to DNA testing because the absence of his DNA from the crime scene -- assuming the tests came back negative -- would not exonerate him given the other evidence introduced at trial. .../...
.../...Lawyers for the Mississippi Innocence Project, which as it often does has filed a brief urging DNA testing in this case, told the state justices late last week:

"[O]f the seven people in Mississippi exonerated by DNA testing after being convicted and imprisoned. ... none were exonerated simply because their DNA was absent from the crime scene; they were exonerated because in each case the true perpetrator left their DNA at the crime scene. In six of those cases the true perpetrator was identified by the DNA testing and subsequent comparisons or DNA database searches, and in five cases the real perpetrator was charged with the crime after the wrongly convicted persons were exonerated." .../..."

May 6 2013 - "Feds Acknowledge Scientific Errors in Testimony in Willie Manning Case":

Excerpt--> "In the past four days, the Justice Department has delivered two separate letters to lawyers in the case acknowledging that an FBI "hair" analyst's "expert" testimony at Manning's 1994 trial, testimony which helped incriminate the defendant by linking him to hair fibers found at the crime scene, "exceeded the limits of science and was, therefore, invalid."


LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:36 pm
Thank you, Charlene Rush, for quoting Margaret Mead! I love that woman. Read one of her works at college, & was really impressed. Cultural anthropology is really interesting & it makes you intelligent.

Inge B (202)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 11:41 pm
Really can a state have the right to judge a man to death?
a small comment from Sweden.
Love, Peace and Understanding

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 7:15 am
A guilty man would not ask for DNA testing. He has already done 19 years of jail just for being black.
What is it with these people that they want to kill him at all cost. Are they afraid for the world to see how racist they were (and still are) when they convicted him?
I can't beleive the rest of the free world will allow this man to be killed without a DNA test.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Tuesday May 14, 2013, 12:20 pm

Melania Padilla (123)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 1:59 pm
Wrong wrong!

Nancy C (806)
Friday May 17, 2013, 7:04 pm
The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Mississippi death row inmate Willie Manning a stay of execution four hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection. Mississippi’s highest court voted 8-1.


Ruth R (246)
Monday July 1, 2013, 4:41 am
'The Mississippi Supreme Court granted Mississippi death row inmate Willie Manning a stay of execution four hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection. Mississippi’s highest court voted 8-1.'
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