“We are asking the Court of Criminal Appeals to ensure that Mr. Skinner is not put to death without a careful evaluation by that court of the trial court’s unexplained refusal to grant the DNA testing Mr. Skinner has sought for so long.
“The accurate resolution of cases involving the ultimate punishment is of paramount importance to the criminal justice system. No such decision is possible until the Court of Criminal Appeals knows why the trial court rejected Mr. Skinner’s request for scientific testing, so that it can assess whether that decision correctly applied Texas law.
“But even putting the evident deficiencies of the trial court’s order to one side, it is plain that the facts of this case raise powerful and unanswered questions about whether Mr. Skinner committed the crime for which he awaits execution next Wednesday. Those are precisely the kind of questions that Texas’s post-conviction DNA testing law was designed to answer. The Court of Criminal Appeals should stop the rush to execution so that it can give Mr. Skinner’s appeal the close attention it deserves.”
Robert C. Owen, attorney for Hank Skinner
November 4, 2011