Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to grant testing of DNA evidence from 1993 murder
Texas: Texas state attorneys and attorneys for death row inmate Hank Skinner have filed a joint motion in the Court of Criminal Appeals seeking the review of DNA evidence in the 1993 triple homicide for which Skinner was convicted.
Skinner is currently appealing his conviction, but this motion will nullify the need for that appeal as it addresses the primary issue in his appeals filing. In 1995 Skinner was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Twila Busby, and her two adult sons on New Years Eve of 1993. Skinner has maintained his innocence throughout his trial, conviction, and subsequent imprisonment, but he does not deny that he was present at the time of the murders. Skinner alleges that he was passed out on the sofa from a mixture of codeine and vodka at the time of the slayings.
Once the Court of Criminal Appeals grants the motion, evidence from the scene will be tested. However one large piece of evidence, a man's windbreaker jacket stained with blood, will not be tested as it has been lost by the state; all other evidence has been preserved.
For the past ten years state attorneys have opposed the allowance of DNA testing in this case, noting that it may spur other inmates to request DNA testing, thus delaying justice. However, state attorneys changed their opinion earlier this month after the office of the Texas Attorney General, "filed an advisory with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals seeking to test DNA in the case."
|This article was written by Amanda Qualls, an Assistant Staff Writer for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.|