Hank Skinner Refused Hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, March 1, 2010, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the case against Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner. The case was denied a hearing without comment; Skinner’s execution is scheduled for March 24, 2010.

Houston Chronicle reporter Allan Turner reports that the petition submitted before the U.S. Supreme Court asked for review in the manner in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit analyzed Skinner’s claim of insufficient counsel as well as neglect to investigate another possible suspect in the murder of Twila Busby and her two adult sons.
There is a second petition before the high court asking for additional DNA testing of unanalyzed crime scene evidence.
The following statement was made by Robert Owen, Skinner’s lead attorney working with the University of Texas’ Capital Punishment Center:
“We are disappointed that the Supreme Court chose not to hear this petition. The most serious question raised by Mr. Skinner’s case, however, is why the State continues to refuse the DNA testing that could substantiate Mr. Skinner’s longstanding claim of actual innocence. That question remains pending before the Supreme Court. We continue to hope that the Court will intervene to ensure that Mr. Skinner is not executed before the troubling doubts about his guilt can be resolved through scientific evidence.”
The full Chronicle article is available here.
For more information regarding the impending execution of Hank Skinner, Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune wrote an article on January 28, 2010 profiling the murder and possible innocence of Skinner, available here.