A Timetable for Testing

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.

Note: This post was corrected on March 6, 2019; the correct date of February 11 was substituted for the incorrect date of February 19 that was originally given.
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