Death Row family pledge to clear name
GRIEVING relatives of executed Suffolk-born convict John "Jackie" Elliott today pledged to fight to clear his name.His family firmly believe he was innocent and are deeply upset that the American courts refused to allow modern forensic tests which might have proved he did not kill teenager Joyce Munguia.
GRIEVING relatives of executed Suffolk-born convict John "Jackie" Elliott today pledged to fight to clear his name.
His family firmly believe he was innocent and are deeply upset that the American courts refused to allow modern forensic tests which might have proved he did not kill teenager Joyce Munguia.
While nothing will bring Elliott back, they would love to know the truth – and are looking to continue their campaign for the evidence to be examined afresh.
Elliott's brother Robert said: "We would love to continue trying to clear my brother's name, but right now all litigation has ended for the foreseeable future.
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"We are very disappointed at the outcome and we are all very hurt for our loss right now. I would like to thank everybody in the UK for being so supportive.
"They are great people in England and we appreciate all the efforts and attention that they have bought to this matter.
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"MP John Gummer is one of those folks that we owe a special debt of appreciation and gratitude to and we hope that some day we will come back to visit in happier times."
Mr Elliott, of Austin, Texas, was speaking just hours after his 42-year-old brother died from a lethal injection for the rape and murder of Munguia in 1986.
Although Elliott only lived in Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, for four years after he was born – his father Robert was stationed at the Bentwaters air base – he was proud of his English roots.
His case was taken up by Mr Gummer, Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, who visited the United States to speak to the authorities and urge that the DNA tests on blood-spatter shoes belonging to another suspect be carried out.
He has now called on legal authorities in Texas to review their judicial system.
Ms Munguia's family though are still sure of Elliott's guilt.
"He was a coward in the beginning, and he was a coward in the end," said her sister Lillian after the execution.
Her mother Matilde Munguia added: "He committed the crime here, not in England. So what if they don't like the death roll. This was about justice . . . those people who are against the death penalty, good for them. But they've never walked in our shoes."