Attorney General: Test wouldn't exonerate Manning

May 4, 2013 8:07:16 PM

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JACKSON -- Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says a new round of DNA testing on evidence collected against death row inmate Willie Jerome Manning would not exonerate him in the 1992 deaths of two students. 

 

Manning, now 44, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the state penitentiary at Parchman. 

 

"Any time there is legitimate, exculpatory evidence, capable of DNA testing, the state is prepared to conduct testing," Hood said in a statement released late Friday. 

 

"However when the defense waits until the 11th hour to raise such claims, which could not possibly exonerate their client, courts are loathe to be subjected to these types of dilatory defense tactics." 

 

Manning, who is black, had argued that hair found in one of the victim's cars was not proved to be his. DNA showed that the hair was from a black person, but other blacks had been seen in the car, according to trial testimony. 

 

Hood said Manning could have had the hair tested at any time but had not. 

 

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stop the execution, in a 5-4 decision. 

 

Manning's lawyers have asked Gov. Phil Bryant for a stay. Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock said Friday that the governor is reviewing the case.