DNA testing execution Hank Skinner Texas Attorney General Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals

District Court Denies DNA Testing for Skinner

Today, a District Court in Gray County denied Hank Skinner’s petition for DNA testing of key evidence collected at the crime scene.   Here is a statement from his attorney, Rob Owen:

Statement from Attorney for Hank Skinner in Response to Denial of DNA Testing Motion by Trial Court in Gray County, Texas

“We are deeply disappointed that the trial court has denied Mr. Skinner’s request for DNA testing.  Unfortunately, the trial court’s order offers no explanation for its conclusion that DNA testing is not called for in this case. It will now be up to the Court of Criminal Appeals to give Mr. Skinner’s case the deliberate consideration that is necessary to ensure a correct result.  We are confident that upon such careful review, the Court will conclude that DNA testing is necessary in this case to ensure the reliability of the verdict.  But for now, the Court of Criminal Appeals must stop the scheduled November 9 execution rather than allow itself to be rushed to a hasty and ill-considered decision.  The stakes in this case are too high to allow Mr. Skinner to be executed before he has a fair chance to make his case that the trial court made a grave mistake in denying his request for DNA testing.”

– Robert C. Owen, attorney for Hank Skinner, November 3, 2011

If you would like additional information, please contact: Laura Burstein, 202-626-6868 or


According to the Texas Tribune, “the Court of Criminal Appeals has already twice denied Skinner’s pleas for additional testing” and the Texas Attorney General’s office continues to argue that this testing would not prove Skinner’s innocence.  Read more from the Tribune and the Amarillo Globe-News.