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Supporters' appeal over death row case

PUBLISHED: 08:48 27 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:15 03 March 2010

SUPPORTERS of a former Suffolk man on death row have appealed to the Government to directly intervene in his case.

John Elliott, known as Jackie, has been on death row in Texas for 16 years and is due to be executed in February.

SUPPORTERS of a former Suffolk man on death row have appealed to the Government to directly intervene in his case.

John Elliott, known as Jackie, has been on death row in Texas for 16 years and is due to be executed in February.

The 42-year-old was born in Suffolk, where his father was stationed on a United States Airforce base. His parents Robert and Dorothy, who have now returned to the U.S., lived in Felixstowe.

Elliott, a construction worker, was convicted of murdering Joyce Munguia and sentenced to die by a court in Austin in 1987.

A spokesman for the campaign to save him from lethal injection said Elliott had always protested his innocence.

Kevin McNamara, the Labour MP for Hull North, has tabled an early day motion on Elliott's behalf, supported by 14 other MPs.

He said: "The British Government's policy is to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. At a time when Britain and the U.S. stand together over Iraq, I hope that the state of which President Bush is the former governor will find a way to work with us urgently to resolve this issue."

Elliott's case, which is supported by Amnesty International and Michael Mansfield QC, is in the final stages of the appeal process in the U.S.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the Government was opposed to the use of the death penalty and added: "It's our policy to make representations against the use of the death penalty and its imposition on British nationals at whatever stage and level is judged to be most appropriate."

She said consular staff in the U.S. were monitoring the case and were in "close touch" with Elliott's lawyers. "We very much hope that John Elliott will not be executed – we are opposed to it in all circumstances," she added.

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