Mississippi Man, William Jerome Manning's Execution Postponed
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

be newsWith just hours to go before his scheduled execution in Mississippi on Tuesday, William Jerome Manning was granted a stay of execution by the state’s Supreme Court.

What saved Manning’s life?

According to a New York Times report, the United States Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, sent lawyers and officials involved in the death penalty case several letters disputing forensics used to convict the 44-year-old African-American man.

Manning was found guilty of murdering two college students in 1994, but his repeated requests for a reexamination of DNA evidence in the case were denied by state officials, who said there was no DNA available for testing.

Lawyers for the Innocence Project, who are helping with Manning’s case, said DNA evidence used to exonerate death row inmates can be found years or even decades after samples have initially tested negative for biological evidence.

Mississippi state Supreme Court justices, ruling in favor of Manning’s reprieve, did not put a time limit on the postponement. The Justice Department has offered to help state law enforcement officials test hair fragments collected during the investigation.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.

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