Death row inmate's bid for release delayed
A Harris County judge wants to hear testimony from a forensic expert
before deciding whether new DNA evidence is favorable to death row inmate
Charles D. Raby, condemned in the 1994 murder of an elderly woman.
Rabys conviction is receiving new scrutiny because DNA tests contradict
evidence from the Houston Police Department crime lab in his case. His
lawyer is seeking his release or a new trial.
This morning, state District Judge Joan Campbell delayed closing arguments
in an evidentiary hearing on the DNA evidence to allow testimony from the
city's expert, Patricia Hamby. She has called the original testimony and
lab work by HPD analyst Joseph Chu "incorrect and not supported."
Hamby, who is based in Indiana, is expected to testify sometime next
month. After her appearance, Campbell will decide whether the new evidence
is favorable to Raby's case, a decision that could provide an opening for
his attorney to seek his release or a new trial.
A Harris County jury sentenced Raby to death in the 1994 murder of Edna M.
Franklin, 72, a grandmother who lived alone in her north Houston home.
At Raby's trial, jurors heard testimony from HPD crime lab analyst Chu,
who told them that tests conducted on scrapings from under Franklin's
fingernails were inconclusive.
Years later, as revelations about chronic problems at the HPD crime lab
came to light, Raby's case received a 2nd look.
Campbell ordered DNA tests on the finger nail scrapings, in which analysts
at a California lab found no evidence from Raby. The tests also excluded
the victim's 2 grandsons, the only people she regularly had contact with,
as the sources of the scrapings.
The Harris County District Attorney's office has maintained that the new
evidence is inconclusive and does not clear Raby.
(source: Houston Chronicle)
Stop The Texas Execution Of Texas David L. Wood—-Target:Governor Rick
Perry, Taxpayers of Texas, People Worldwide—-Sponsored by: Dee Hawk, The
This petition is to ask for a stay of execution or clemency for Texas
death row inmate David L. Wood who is scheduled to be executed by the
state of Texas on August 20, 2009.
Although the crimes Wood was arrested, convicted and sentenced to die for
are serious, and we sympahize with the family and friends of the victims,
we feel that Wood has major claims of innocence in these crimes.