News Release

Willie Jerome Manning Granted Stay of Execution by Mississippi Supreme Court

Washington, DC (May 7, 2013) – Willie Jerome Manning, who was scheduled to be executed by the State of Mississippi at 6 p.m. today, has been granted a stay of execution by the Mississippi Supreme Court “pending further Order of this Court.” Significant doubt had been raised concerning the forensic evidence used to convict Mr. Manning of murdering two university students in 1992. Specifically, attorneys for Mr. Manning directed the Court to three recent Department of Justice letters, the first of which, dated May 2, set forth that “we have determined that testimony containing erroneous statements regarding microscopic hair comparison analysis was used in this case.”

NACDL is pleased that the disclosure of problematic forensic testimony prompted the Mississippi Supreme Court to stay Mr. Manning’s execution and allow the judicial process to continue.

A complete copy of the order, including Presiding Justice Randolph’s dissent, is available here.

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NACDL Communications Department

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.