Death row campaign brought to Suffolk
RELATIVES of a former Felixstowe man on death row were today meeting Foreign Office executives as part of their campaign to stop his execution.The relatives visited the seaside resort this morning to see the town where John "Jackie" Elliott lived after his birth and grew up before moving to America.
RELATIVES of a former Felixstowe man on death row were today meeting Foreign Office executives as part of their campaign to stop his execution.
The relatives visited the seaside resort this morning to see the town where John "Jackie" Elliott lived after his birth and grew up before moving to America.
They visited the seafront he had enjoyed as a youngster and spoke of their support for him and his claims that he is innocent of rape and murder.
They also talked about their hopes for their last-ditch bid to gain him a stay of execution while fresh evidence is examined by forensic experts.
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This afternoon they were due to travel to London for a tea-time meeting with the Foreign Office, human rights lawyer Hugh Southey, Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, and campaign group Reprieve, which fights for those facing death sentences.
Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos has already submitted a statement to her opposite number in America – asking for Mr Elliott's sentence to be put on hold until new evidence in his case has been examined.
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Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer has also sent a full appraisal of the case to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and hopes he will also make representations to the US government on Elliott's behalf.
Mr Gummer wants the American authorities to allow forensic scientists to carry out DNA testing on blood stained items of clothing with techniques that would not have been available 16 years ago to settle the matter.
Building worker Elliott is due to be killed by lethal injection in Texas on February 4 for the rape and murder of teenager Joyce Munguia.
Elliott has always protested his innocence and claims he was convicted because of evidence from Texan police informers who were covering their own guilt. The 18-year-old victim was raped and then beaten to death with a bicycle chain under an Eastside overpass in East Austin.
Elliott, 42, lived in Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, with his parents Robert – who was stationed at USAF Bentwaters air base – and Dorothy. His parents have returned to America.
Currently, Elliot is in isolation at the Polunsky Unit at Livingston. He has a 60ft sq single-man cell with a window. The execution will take place at the Walls Unit at Huntsville, in Walker County, 70 miles north of Houston, and 170 miles south of Dallas.