Why DNA Evidence Deserves Testing in a Mississippi Death Row Case


In a new column in

The Atlantic

, contributing editor Andrew Cohen makes the case for testing DNA evidence for Willie Manning, a Mississippi man scheduled for execution next week despite a lack of physical evidence connecting him to two murders. Manning has spent 20 years on death row maintaining his innocence in the deaths of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller. Cohen cites several reasons that point to the need for testing.


Lawyers for the Mississippi Innocence Project filed a brief in favor of the testing to the Mississippi Supreme Court, who denied the request last week in a 5-4 ruling. Cohen writes:

By testing the DNA evidence still available, Mississippi could achieve two goals at the same time — resolving Manning’s claims and, if those claims are valid, finding a person responsible for the crime. The state’s justices may be in no mood to listen to the Innocence Project, but if they are they will hear something insightful about the way these cases unfold. “Simply put,” the Innocence Project argued this week, “just because it’s hard to imagine a scenario where DNA testing could exonerate Willie Manning doesn’t mean there isn’t one.”

In 48% of the 306 DNA exoneration cases, the real perpetrator was identified through a DNA match.


Urge Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant to stay the execution and allow Manning to do the DNA testing



Read the

full article



Read about

cases of people exonerated through DNA testing after serving time on death row


Leave a Reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

This field is required.
This field is required.
This field is required.