TOPIC: Possibly Innocent Death Row Inmate Denied DNA Test
Possibly Innocent Death Row Inmate Denied DNA Test
05 May 2013 01:19 #2814
Today I read about the state of Mississippi denying a death-row inmate, Willie Jerome Manning, convicted in 1992 of killing two college students, a DNA test that could very well exonerate him. The article notes that most states allow DNA testing in these cases, because killing people for crimes they may not have committed is wrong, and something we should really try to avoid. The prosecutor claims the appeal is just a stalling tactic, and claims there is sufficient evidence. I say its better to be safe than sorry. The man is scheduled to be executed on tuesday, after being denied what I believe is his right to a DNA test.
I support the death penalty only in the case of definitive, DNA supported proof. Death is too final, and allowing law enforcement to play God is too dangerous, for any other evidence to suffice. There are some criminals who are simply too far gone to be rehabilitated, and some crimes are so grotesque that death seems the only option for the good of society. People such as Ted Bundy and Charles Manson should be executed. Child molesters and rapists, are often the victims of sexual crimes, and their psychology so beyond help, that keeping them away from society at all costs seems fair. But again, only in the case of absolute, definitive, infallible, DNA testing.
I would support a law that requires DNA testing in all Death Row sentences. If there is enough physical evidence to support the conviction, then this prosecutor in Mississippi should not be opposed to further confirmation of the inmate's guilt. His opposition to it suggests that he has some doubts about the culpability of the convict in question, which is unacceptable. It should be noted that the same prosecutor has had two previous cases overturned by DNA test results. I am cynical enough to believe this white Southerner is saving face by insisting a black inmate be executed on Tuesday, despite the possibility of his innocence. If he were guilty of the crime, would he be willing to submit to a DNA test which could further implicate him? What physical evidence does the prosecutor have linking Manning to the crime? A hair belonging to an African-American man. This man deserves a DNA test. I hope Mississippi does the right thing. It's never too late to start.
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