Death Row Prisoner Manning in Court Today | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Death Row Prisoner Manning in Court Today

Willie Jerome Manning, a Mississippi death-row inmate, will argue before the state's high court Monday that he deserves a new trial because his lawyer's poor performance and faulty evidence contributing to his conviction in the slayings of two elderly women.

Willie Jerome Manning, a Mississippi death-row inmate, will argue before the state's high court Monday that he deserves a new trial because his lawyer's poor performance and faulty evidence contributing to his conviction in the slayings of two elderly women.

Willie Jerome Manning, a Mississippi death-row inmate, will argue before the state's high court Monday that he deserves a new trial because his lawyer's poor performance and faulty evidence contributing to his conviction in the slayings of two elderly women.

Manning is appealing an Oktibbeha County judge's denial of his post-conviction challenges. The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case this afternoon in Jackson.

In 1996, a state court convicted Manning and sentenced him to death in the slayings of Emmoline Jimmerson, 90, and her daughter, Alberta Jordan, 60, during a robbery attempt at their Starkville apartment in 1993. The women were beaten and their throats were slashed.

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Manning's conviction and two death sentences in 2000. But four years later, the high court gave Manning approval to pursue three post-conviction claims: that prosecutors withheld evidence; that they presented false evidence; and that Manning was denied effective counsel at trial and on appeal.

Circuit Judge Lee Howard ruled against Manning on all three issues in 2013. Manning's attorneys appealed, claiming Howard's ruling denied Manning "an opportunity to develop a number of claims challenging the reliability of his conviction."

Last year, Mississippi officials requested a date for Manning to be executed in a separate case, involving the murders of two Mississippi State students in Oktibbeha County in 1992. Manning always maintained his innocence in the case. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation twice admitted to errors in Manning's original trial, stating that investigators overstated the evidence against Manning, the state high court stopped execution plans to allow the FBI to conduct additional tests.

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