Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Willie Manning; Mississippi; Death Row; Innocence project says he is poised to be executed May 7 without DNA testing; Calls on Governor Phil Bryant to stay the execution and order DNA testing of the physical evidence in the case;

POST: "Willie's case," published by "Justice for Willie Manning";

GIST: Willie Manning is an African-American from a very poor background. He has suffered over 18 years of confinement on death row during a  lengthy legal process in the State of Mississippi. Willie has been convicted of two double murders (the murder of two white students in 1992, and the murder of two elderly African-American women in 1993). There are huge doubts about the validity of both convictions (see below). The Federal Court of Appeals dismissed his case because Willie’s first state post-conviction lawyers did not file his petition on time (see last two paragraphs below).  The United States Supreme Court declined to review the case, and the Mississippi Supreme Court has now set an execution date of May 7th 2013. Willie maintains his innocence in both case. Among the many problems with the convictions pointed out by Manning's supporters, several are of direct interest to the blog: Missing evidence in the case of the two elderly women. "Significant evidence found at the murder scene was not shown to the jury: next to one of the bodies was found a bloody shoeprint made by a size 8 shoe (Willie’s shoe size was eventually measured in court as size 11 or 11½)," and lack of physical evidence in the case of the two students,  "No physical evidence linked Willie to the murder scene. None of the fingerprints, hair, blood or fibers found at the scene corresponded with Willie’s. Biological evidence from the scene has not been subjected to modern DNA testing."

The entire post can be found at:


See recent  Innocence Project plea for public pressure: "Mississippi is poised to execute a man who maintains his innocence without first performing DNA testing on evidence that could definitively prove his innocence or guilt.  In a 5-4 decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that there was no need to test biological evidence – including a rape kit, fingernail scrapings and hairs found on the victims – in Willie Manning’s case because of “overwhelming evidence of guilt.”  Tragically, appeals courts were also wrong in the 306 wrongful convictions (18 involving people who served time on death row) later overturned by DNA evidence. Willie has always maintained his innocence and has been requesting testing of this evidence for years, requests which have been consistently denied.  During his trial, the only physical evidence presented were the hairs he is now seeking to get tested, which an analyst said came from an African American.  (Willis is African American and the victims were white.)  In the years since, both the FBI and the National Academy of Science have cast doubt on the reliability of hair analysis in the absence of DNA testing.  In fact, the FBI recently announced that it would be undertaking a massive review of all the cases in which its analysts testified regarding hair microscopy.  In this case it was an FBI agent who claimed the hairs were from an African American. DNA testing could definitively prove Willie’s guilt or innocence.  It could also implicate another suspect as the true perpetrator.  There is no good reason to execute anyone without performing the testing that could definitively prove guilt or innocence."


Visit "Justice for Willie Manning" site at:



I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site. 

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:


Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.