Judge Howard of the Oktibbeha County Court has set limits to the time to be spent on DNA testing for Willie Manning’s remaining case. The judge has issued a Scheduling Order, which sets out a timetable to be followed both by Willie’s attorneys and by attorneys for the State of Mississippi.
The schedule limits the decision-making process to 30 days for each stage:
|From Feb 11, 2019…||…attorneys have 30 days to inform Bode Cellmark Forensics lab as to which other hairs should be screened for DNA testing.|
|After the results of hair evidence screening are received from the lab…||…attorneys have a further 30 days to inform the lab about what final testing or comparisons of hair evidence are needed.|
|After the results of final testing or comparisons of hair evidence are received from the lab…||…attorneys have a further 30 days to inform the lab if any other items of evidence, already submitted to it, should be screened for DNA testing.|
|After the results of screening of this additional evidence are received from the lab…||…attorneys have a further 30 days to notify the lab about any final testing or comparisons of this additional evidence to any samples from Willie, or from Tiffany Miller or Jon Steckler.|
|After deciding whether additional items, already submitted to the lab, should be screened…||…attorneys have a further 30 days to file any additional motions with the Oktibbeha County Court for additional testing of any material.|
Judge Howard includes provision for potential disputes between the lawyers for the two sides:
“The parties should inform the court if at any time they are unable to reach a decision about testing. The Court will then have a hearing to resolve such disputes.”
We hope that Judge Howard’s order succeeds in moving the testing swiftly forward. The delays have been torturous. The waiting must end.