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By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Mississippi death row inmate Willie Jerome Manning.

Manning asked U.S. Supreme Court in December to listen to his arguments for a new trial. The court declined Monday without comment.

Manning had argued that defense attorneys should have done a better job and that black residents were inappropriately excluded from his Oktibbeha County jury. Manning is African-American.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned Manning down last July.

Manning, now 44, received two death sentences for the 1992 slayings of two Mississippi State University students, Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller. In December of 1992, the bodies of Miller and Steckler were discovered in rural Oktibbeha County. Both students had been shot to death.

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