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Death Row Inmate's Last Request!
A death row inmate scheduled to be executed in hours has one last request: Don't kill me until you test my DNA! He says it will prove his innocence in the murders of three people. We're live outside the death chamber.
CNN has also posted, "Texas inmate awaiting last-minute stay of execution seeks DNA test." It's written by Ashley Hayes and William Mears.
Texas state lawmakers are among those calling for a last-minute reprieve for a condemned inmate who is requesting DNA testing of evidence, even as he is set to die Wednesday night.
Henry "Hank" Skinner, 47, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) for the New Year's Eve 1993 murder of his live-in girlfriend, Twila Busby, and her two sons, Elwin Caler, 22, and Randy Busby, 20, in Pampa, Texas.
"Since his arrest in the early morning hours of January 1, 1994, Mr. Skinner has always and consistently maintained that he did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted," defense attorney Robert Owen wrote this month in a 30-page letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, seeking a 30-day reprieve of Skinner's execution.
Skinner's attorneys maintain that DNA testing of the evidence could establish his innocence and determine the real killer.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on a stay of execution in the case Wednesday. If the high court denies Skinner's request to review the case, the decision falls to Perry, according to David Protess, a Northwestern University professor and director of the university's Medill Innocence Project, which has investigated Skinner's case.
On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended Perry reject a reprieve for Skinner on a unanimous vote and also voted against granting Skinner's request for a commutation of his death sentence.
State Sen. Rodney Ellis and state Rep. Elliott Naishtat both sent letters to Perry on Tuesday urging him to issue the reprieve.
Recently, questions have swirled in Texas regarding the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for a fire that killed his three daughters. And on March 19, Perry issued a posthumous pardon to the family of Timothy Cole, who was serving a 25-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault when he died in prison from an asthma attack.
Ed Brayton posts, "In Texas, Only the Dead are Innocent," at Science Blogs.
On Wednesday at 6 pm CDT, the state of Texas is going to put Hank Skinner to death for killing his ex-girlfriend and her two sons. But there is good reason to believe that Skinner is innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of. And there is DNA evidence available from the crime scene that was never tested.
Hank Skinner is to be put to death on Wednesday night at 6 pm CDT. Perry has consistently ignored pleas from innocence advocates to put that execution on hold so that DNA evidence can be tested. And the Supreme Court, at the urging of the Obama administration, ruled earlier this year that he has no constitutional right to have it tested even though it could prove his innocence.
I guess you only get to be innocent after you're dead in Texas.
Earlier coverage begins with this post from earlier today.