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Mississippi Man Exonerated of Double-Murder Remains on Death Row Pending DNA Testing in Second Case

Willie Manning has spent over 20 years on death row in Mississippi for two double-murders which he has consistently maintained he did not commit. In 2013, the FBI announced that their expert gave testimony in one of Manning’s cases containing erroneous statements regarding microscopic hair comparison analysis. The announcement prompted the state to halt Manning’s execution only five days before it was scheduled to take place.

Last week, a judge threw out the other murder cases. A key witness—Kevin Lucious—had told police he saw Manning enter the victims’ apartment from his own apartment, but police found that the apartment where Lucious claimed to live was vacant at the time of the crime. The building manager also did not have him listed as a resident. However, Manning remains on death row, awaiting possible execution for the other set of murders.

To compensate for their erroneous testimony, the FBI offered to conduct DNA testing on Manning’s behalf.  Manning’s attorney says that several items have been sent to a lab in Houston for analysis. It is not known how long the testing will take.

Meanwhile, Mississippi has halted all scheduled executions in the state due to concerns over execution procedures. This month, two death row inmates filed a lawsuit arguing that the risks of excruciating pain and torture during an execution violates their constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

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