Court Gives Inmate OK to Pursue New DNA Test

Jackson, Miss.
The Mississippi Supreme Court has given death row inmate Willie Jerome Manning the chance to argue before a judge for DNA and fingerprint testing that he says will show he's innocent in the deaths of two college students.

The order Thursday reversed an earlier decision in which the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Manning's request for DNA testing.

Manning argues that technological strides in the past two decades in DNA testing could lead to proof that he is innocent of killing two Mississippi State University students in 1992.

The bodies of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller were found in rural Oktibbeha County. Manning was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to death.

The Supreme Court had stopped Manning's execution on May 7 so it could further review Manning's arguments.