death penalty execution Hank Skinner

Statement from Hank Skinner’s Attorney

The following is a statement from Rob Owen, attorney for Hank Skinner who is scheduled for execution on Wednesday, March 24, 2010:

Today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to intervene in Mr. Skinner’s case. As a result, because state officials continue to refuse to conduct readily available DNA testing on evidence from the crime scene that could clear him, there remains a serious risk that Texas, one week from today, will execute an innocent man.

We remain hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court, which has often found it necessary to correct egregious injustices in Texas capital cases, will intervene to protect Mr. Skinner’s right to pursue that DNA testing in federal court. We also trust that Governor Perry, having heard the voices of Texans insisting that the death penalty not be carried out while there are unresolved doubts about a defendant’s guilt, will do the right thing and postpone Mr. Skinner’s execution until all the facts are in.

Time is growing short, and ultimately someone must have the courage and the common sense to step forward and ensure the reliability of this verdict through the best available scientific technology.