Danger of Gross Unfairness

Willie Jerome Manning has opposed the State’s request for more time to file its response to his appeal in the 1993 case of two elderly ladies (the Brookville Garden case). He asks the Mississippi Supreme Court to strike any brief filed by the State and to deny the State participation in oral argument. He points out that the State filed its request so late that its proposed new deadline had already passed.

Willie highlights the gross unfairness that would result if the Court were to allow the State’s request. He reminds the Court of the many occasions when, by citing procedural defaults, the State has blocked Willie’s attempts to prove his innocence. In particular, the State used grounds of late filing to convince a court to refuse Willie federal review, even though his appointed attorneys had effectively abandoned him and he lacked the means to provide alternative representation.

Willie expresses surprise that the deadline in a high profile case was missed by over a month, and without proper explanation, despite the large number of experienced attorneys available to the State, in an office dedicated to capital litigation.

Willie urges the Court to enforce the State’s deadline with the same rigor as in the past has been used against him.

We trust the Court will do as Willie has asked, thus averting the potential for gross inequity.

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