willie_jerome_manning_copy.jpgJACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court will hold a conference March 22 to decide on whether to hear an appeal from Mississippi death row inmate Willie Jerome Manning.

Court officials say a decision could be announced shortly after the conference.

Manning asked U.S. Supreme Court in December to listen to his arguments for a new trial.

Manning has 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. The court said Manning filed his post-conviction claim too late to be heard in state courts.

Manning received two death sentences for the 1992 slayings of two Mississippi State University students, Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller.

*Pictured above is Willie Jerome Manning.