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EDITIONS
 Monday, 13 January, 2003, 14:23 GMT
MP backs death row Briton
Jackie Elliot and his mother
Jackie Elliot with his mother Dorothy
Campaigners trying to save a man from being executed in the United States are to hold a meeting with MPs at Westminster.

Former cabinet minister John Gummer will be among those at the meeting to discuss the plight of Suffolk-born John "Jackie" Elliott.

The 43-year-old, who has always pleaded his innocence, is due to be executed in Texas on 4 February, after being convicted of rape and murder in 1987.

Mr Gummer, who is a Suffolk MP, is to chair a meeting in the House of Commons on Friday calling for the US authorities to allow DNA testing which could prove Elliott's innocence.

Lethal injection

The meeting will also be attended by members of Elliott's family.

Mr Gummer told BBC News Online: "The fundamental issue is whether this is a reasonable conviction or not, and the more I look at the case the more I think it is a conviction which in a British court would be seriously questioned.

"We want to get the case re-opened because there are now modern DNA techniques, not available when the case first came to court, that could show that he definitely did not do it.

"This meeting will show how seriously we take this matter."

Elliott, who was born and brought up in Felixstowe, is facing death by lethal injection.

Last week it was revealed that the US group, Citizens' United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, is holding a vigil outside Elliott's prison and the Texas Governor's Mansion.


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See also:

08 Jan 03 | England
24 Dec 02 | England
13 Mar 02 | Americas
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