In brief: Texas will deny a man a DNA test and kill him this Wednesday November 9, 2011.
Take quick action here.
Hank Skinner has been pleading with the state since 2001 — to no avail — to test DNA evidence he believes will prove his innocence. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to walk into the execution chamber in Huntsville to face the ultimate punishment for three murders that he maintains he did not commit.
Michael Morton, with his mother, was released on personal bond this year.
“I have never had a case where we had to fight 10 years to get DNA tests,” said Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, who has worked on hundreds of cases. “This kind of protracted litigation is extremely rare these days.”
Mr. Skinner was convicted in 1995 of murdering his live-in girlfriend, Twila Busby, and her two sons in their home in the Panhandle town of Pampa. Texas — and most other states — did not have a post-conviction DNA testing law then. But since Mr. Skinner has been in prison, Texas has developed one of the strongest post-conviction DNA laws in the nation, and 45 inmates have been exonerated in the last decade based on test results....
...In an interview this week, Mr. Ellis said he does not understand how the court could continue to deny Mr. Skinner’s request, which he said his recent legislation would allow.
But last week, without explanation, the trial court in Gray County did just that. Mr. Skinner’s lawyers have appealed, again to the Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that the Legislature has removed enough barriers to finally allow DNA tests before he is executed.