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(The posted letter is not necessarily the views of MageeNews.com or its staff.  This is an opinion column.  Anyone wishing to submit a column for publication should email sue@mageenews.com.  The letter must give name and address as well as a contact number)

Dear editor:

In light of the decision Mississippians face in this year’s Governor’s race, I hope you will consider running this as a guest column in your opinion section.  

Like you, I feel strongly that candidates should be scrutinized and face hard questions regarding their previous professional record, especially if they have prior public service. 

As you will see in the piece, I am a grieving father, and I have no uncertain opinion of Mr. Waller’s previous record. I believe other voters should be made aware or reminded of this case as they make their decision next Tuesday. 

Although this case has been reported about, opined about and chronicled for almost 30 years, it remains an unresolved and RELEVANT issue, particularly as one of its central players is seeking Mississippi’s highest elected office.

Willie Jerome Manning, has been convicted of 4 savage murders, yet Judge Waller’s court has been all over the legal map for more than 20 years, making rulings, reversing those rulings and the net result thus far has been decades of delayed justice with no end to this saga in sight.  So, in the interest of full-disclosure and full-vetting of the candidates, I respectfully ask that you consider this submission.  

Archie C. Miller

Mendenhall, MS

In his race for Governor, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr. is claiming to be a conservative. Yet on the court he sided with the most liberal, criminal-friendly interpretations of our laws, even when confronted with a quadruple murderer. 

I should know.
 

The lifelong criminal convicted of killing my daughter and three others had his conviction and his execution overturned by Chief Justice Waller’s court.

In 1992, my daughter was one of two Mississippi State University students randomly killed, and their convicted murderer was saved from execution at the 11thhour, largely through the actions of Chief Justice Bill Waller.

 
With a criminal record going back to age six, Willie Jerome “Fly” Manning was convicted of killing my daughter, Tiffany Miller, and Jonathan Steckler in 1992.  
 
My daughter and Jonathan were kidnapped, driven to a rural area and shot. It was a reckless act of violence. Manning attempted to steal my daughter’s car. Tiffany and Jonathan apparently interfered. He killed them for it. 


Manning would later be found trying to sell items that belonged to my daughter and John.

 
Yet this heinous killing of my daughter and her friend wasn’t Manning’s only double murder conviction. Manning was also convicted for the 1993 slaughter of two elderly women while robbing them.  The mother and daughter were found beaten and their throats slashed. 
 
So, how does a cold-blooded, convicted quadruple murderer like ”Fly” Manning get a sentence overturned, his execution stayed, and his case still tied up in court almost 30 years after the crime? 
 
Well, that’s the question I’ve been asking for more than a decade now, since Judge Waller and his court overturned the sentence based on a legal technicality in 2004. Waller has offered no answers. 
 
Despite all the evidence — including Manning’s possession of items belonging to my daughter and his attempt to sell them— Chief Justice Waller and his liberal colleagues ruled that prosecutors erred by asking a witness about taking a lie detector test.  This witness had testified that he had heard Manning confess to murder. Prosecutors asked him if he would take a lie-detector test.  He did, and he passed.   


Just six years before, when Manning attempted an appeal, Judge Waller had written that such questioning about a polygraph test was not grounds for overturning Manning’s conviction.  Justice Waller changed his mind and reversed himself in 2004.


Nevertheless, my daughter’s accused killer was still facing execution for the other killings.  In 2013 he was about to be executed. Finally, justice was about to exact its toll.

 
Yet, again Manning’s liberal lawyers asked for Manning to be let off, and Judge Waller again sided with them. This time Chief Justice Waller was apparently influenced by a federal decree from the Obama Justice Department, spurred by a series of articles in The Washington Post. 
 

The pressure from the Obama team was enough for Justice Waller and the court’s liberals to stop the execution of my daughter’s murderer shortly before it was to occur.

 
My daughter, Jonathan Steckler and the two elderly ladies Manning was convicted of slaughtering have been gone for almost 30 years now. 
 

“Fly” Manning lives on. He is aided by liberal lawyers who have cleverly helped him avoid the reaper, and a man who wants to be your next “conservative” Governor. 

 
We cannot trust Bill Waller to do what is right. He bends to the left, even when justice itself is on the line. 

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