Thursday, November 3, 2011

Skinner Update: Still No DNA Testing

Earlier this week I wrote about Hank Skinner's impending execution date and the refusal of the Texas authorities to allow DNA testing of evidence that could resolve serious doubts as to his guilt:  Travesty of Justice Redux:  Hank Skinner and the State of Texas

Today the local district court, without explanation, denied Skinner's motion for DNA testing.  That decision will be appealed to state's highest criminal court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, but with Skinner scheduled to be executed a week from tomorrow, time is short. 

Rob Owen, Skinner's attorney issued the following statement:
We are deeply disappointed that the trial court has denied Mr. Skinner's request for DNA testing.  Unfortunately, the trial court's order offers no explanation for its conclusion that DNA testing is not called for in this case. It will now be up to the Court of Criminal Appeals to give Mr. Skinner's case the deliberate consideration that is necessary to ensure a correct result.  We are confident that upon such careful review, the Court will conclude that DNA testing is necessary in this case to ensure the reliability of the verdict.  But for now, the Court of Criminal Appeals must stop the scheduled November 9 execution rather than allow itself to be rushed to a hasty and ill‑considered decision.  The stakes in this case are too high to allow Mr. Skinner to be executed before he has a fair chance to make his case that the trial court made a grave mistake in denying his request for DNA testing.
To learn more about the case, to sign and share an online petition urging the District Attorney to allow DNA testing, and for other ways to help go to


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