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Death row family to fight for justice

PUBLISHED: 05:10 25 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

CAMPAIGNERS who fought unsuccessfully to stop a Felixstowe-born man from being executed have not given up their fight for justice.

The family of Jackie Elliott, 42, who was executed earlier this month after being found guilty of raping and murdering a young woman, and the human rights charity Reprieve remain keen to clear his name.

CAMPAIGNERS who fought unsuccessfully to stop a Felixstowe-born man from being executed have not given up their fight for justice.

The family of Jackie Elliott, 42, who was executed earlier this month after being found guilty of raping and murdering a young woman, and the human rights charity Reprieve remain keen to clear his name.

But Reprieve, a UK-based charity that assists those facing the death penalty in the United States and Caribbean, admitted yesterday that a lack of resources could prevent campaigners taking the case any further.

Donors gave about £2,000 towards the cost of Reprieve hiring a full-time investigator to work on Elliott's case during the months leading up to his execution in Texas. Money was spent on forensic tests, searching records and other expenses in the bid to earn a reprieve for Elliott.

The charity now has to work out how much money remains and what it should be used for in the ongoing battle to prove that Elliott was innocent of the killing of Joyce Munguia in 1986 in Austin, Texas.

Elliott lived in Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, for four years after his birth. His father Robert was stationed at the Bentwaters air base and his mother Dorothy and eldest son Robert came to Felixstowe in January during a last-minute plea to the British government to appeal on their family's behalf.

Andie Lamb, director of Reprieve, said it had been difficult to convince the American authorities that evidence should be tested for DNA and that the case should be reopened.

''The issue in America is the difficulty in bringing in new evidence. There is the general feeling, why have you not brought it up sooner. All of us would like, for Elliott's family sake, to be able to come to some sort of definitive conclusion about his involvement, or lack of."

She added that everyone involved in the campaign was anxious to ensure that it ''did not peter out'' but any further progress depended on finance.

Elliott was executed by lethal injection and Ms Lamb said: ''The family are bearing up but not doing too well.''

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk


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