Willie Manning who has been on death row awaiting execution, has been exonerated. He was convicted of a murder in 1992 in #Mississippi but has protested his innocence ever since. There is a familiar story here in states such as Mississippi where to be poor and black is likely to lead to a conviction. It starts with jury rigging and a series of peremptory challenges to exclude black people from the jury. The jailhouse (prison) informant who alleged that Manning confessed to the murders has since recanted saying he was offered favourable treatment in return for the evidence. This is also an example of unreliable hair evidence being used to secure a conviction.
Officials refused to retest DNA and fingerprint evidence using modern techniques. Evidence favourable to his defence was withheld from the jury.
The Death Penalty Information Center in Washington DC is listing Manning as the 153rd death row inmate to be exonerated since 1973. They also note that the average time on death row to exoneration s 11.3 years.
One has to ask when it will be that it is realised the scale of mistakes will cause authorities and states to question the use of this penalty which cannot of course be undone. Amnesty is opposed to the use of the death penalty in all cases.
Unfortunately, Willie was convicted in two separate unrelated cases, and so far has only been exonerated in one of them. He could still be executed for his other case, for which he also maintains his innocence. He is awaiting the results of preliminary DNA testing for this other case. Fingerprints found at the murder scene were not his, but they have not yet been matched with fingerprints on a national database. The state is resisting this fingerprint matching. See more at the justice4willie website.