By NEMS Daily Journal
GREENVILLE – A death-sentence appeal was denied Tuesday in the 1992 murders of two Mississippi State University students.
U.S. District Judge Allen Pepper threw out Willie Jerome Manning’s appeal in a 124-page memorandum, saying he failed to prove any of his claims.
But the judge said he will agree to let Manning, who is black, appeal Pepper’s decision on grounds that potential jurors were excluded because they were black and that his defense attorney failed to adequately investigate and present mitigating evidence at the sentence phase of his trial.
An appeal would go to the 5th Circuit.
Manning was found guilty in the shooting deaths of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller while he allegedly robbed and kidnapped them.