For Willie Jerome Manning the waiting continues: in both his cases there are new deadlines for lawyers to meet. In the case of the two students, the State has been granted additional time to file a response to his request for DNA testing and fingerprint comparison; the State’s response is now due on or before December 16. And in the case of the two elderly women Willie has also been granted additional time to file his brief*, which is now due on December 12.
Willie wrote recently about the trauma of coming close to execution:
“That was truly an experience. I actually felt that I had gone through it pretty well until I was on the other side of it. Then everything felt outta body.”
This memory must be dominating Willie’s thoughts as both his cases progress.
In 2011 the Center for Constitutional Rights highlighted the experience of death row prisoners narrowly avoiding execution, sometimes repeatedly:
“…the preparation for death followed by a temporary reprieve only to be followed by a later execution date can be said to constitute a mock execution… (This) has been examined… by United Nations bodies, international tribunals, legal experts, and nongovernmental organizations, and found to constitute torture.”
With the outcome of both cases uncertain, such torture is surely being felt by Willie as he waits. His international support is critical to him now: he knows he will not have to face the uncertainty alone.
*This brief is Willie’s response to the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court’s denial of his request to raise serious post conviction issues.