Today, June 12, 2022 is Willie Manning’s 54th birthday. We wish him a very happy birthday.
Willie is upbeat at the moment. He is optimistic about how his remaining case is going, as the DNA testing that he was granted 9 years ago finally draws to a close.
Things have also improved somewhat at the prison where he is incarcerated, Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. It is now less difficult for death row inmates to see a doctor when they are sick.
However, improvements to the prison are still needed, as the Justice Department recently concluded. Its report, published in April, found that “unsanitary living conditions and major staffing shortages at Parchman” contributed to a spate of violence and suicides 2 years ago in Unit 29, where death row is housed. The rapper Yo Gotti, who was instrumental in bringing the lawsuit that led to the federal investigation, surely speaks for us all:
“My heart goes out to the incarcerated men who have suffered without access to clean water, food and healthcare and the families that tragically lost loved ones in the process.”
Despite the harshness of this environment, Willie remains hopeful; and hope allows survival. We are very glad of that.