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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 8 January, 2003, 19:24 GMT
Vigil for death row prisoner
Elliott faces death by lethal injection in February
Anti-death penalty campaigners are to hold a vigil while a man, originally from Suffolk, is executed in the United States.

John "Jackie" Elliott, 43, is due to be executed in Texas on 4 February after being convicted of rape and murder in 1987.

Elliott, who was born and brought up in Felixstowe, has consistently pleaded his innocence.

Last week human rights lawyer Hugh Southey met officials at the Foreign Office to warn them that the first deadline for Government pleas for clemency was 14 January.

'Conviction doubt'

He told them of "significant developments" made by campaigners investigating the conviction.

Although he was unable to disclose the new evidence for legal reasons he said it led him to "doubt the safety of the conviction" against Elliott.

Clemency can be granted by the US Pardons and Paroles Board but Texan Governor, Rick Perry - who replaced President George W Bush - can also grant a stay of execution.

Elliott faces death by lethal injection.

On Wednesday it was revealed that the US group, Citizens' United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, is organising a vigil for the day of the execution at the site of the execution and at the Texas Governor's Mansion.


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24 Dec 02 | England
13 Mar 02 | Americas
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