If Mississippi executes William Jerome Manning Tuesday it will be in spite of a warning from the Justice Department that its evidence is ‘invalid.’
ThinkProgress reported last week that a 5-4 court upheld the decision not to test the evidence, in spite of a prosecutor’s inconclusive logic linking the hair sample to Willie Jerome Manning simply because they were both deemed African American. Now, as the Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen reports, the Department of Justice has intervened to point out that even prosecutors’ conclusion that the hair sample was African American was unscientific and invalid.
Here’s what the feds say:
We have determined that the microscopic hair comparison analysis testimony or laboratory report presented in this case included additional statements that exceeded the limits of science and was, therefore, invalid.
Mississippi isn’t buying it, saying…
“that the supposed ‘new’ evidence does not represent new evidence nor do these letters form [sic] the DOJ represent, when read in context, a repudiation of the testimony of” the FBI agent who testified at the trial of this case. In Mississippi’s view, the discrepancy between the FBI witness’ testimony at the 1994 trial and the Justice Department’s position today is a “matter of semantics.”