Hank Skinner Wins Again: US Supreme Court Grants Cert in His Quest for Post-Conviction DNA Testing

Remember last fall, when Texas Death Row inmate Hank Skinner sued District Attorney Lynn Switzer?  Within months of his scheduled execution, Hank was fighting hard — and he filed a new lawsuit, arguing that his civil rights had been violated because the prosecutor refused to allow Skinner to test evidence from the case for DNA.

Hank Skinner has always maintained his innocence, and some of the evidence still sits there — no one has ever figured out if Hank’s DNA is on the stuff or not.  State hasn’t done it.  District Attorney, nope.  Judge, nope.  Just not done.

March 2010 – Within Hours of Skinner Being Executed, U.S. Supreme Court Grants Stay

Months passed after Skinner sued the Prosecutor, and nothing happened.  Execution Day arrived.  Pressure mounted — even the President of France (that’s right — the President.  of France.) got involved, calling the Governor of Texas asking him to intervene.  (Skinner’s wife is French.)

Within hours of the time that Skinner was set to die, the United States Supreme Court took on the part of the Cavalry and issued a stay in the case.  A stay to give them time to consider Skinner’s petition for writ of certiorari — and for the Court to decide if would hear arguments that Skinner’s should get a chance to get at the evidence to test it via a civil courtroom instead of a criminal one.

May 2010 – U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert (Takes the Case)

This week, the Highest Court in the Land agreed to hear Skinner’s case.  Petition for Writ of Certiorari was granted.   It’s a big win for Death Row Hank Skinner.

If he wins at the Supreme Court, then he starts through the civil courts, arguing for testing, getting the evidence for testing, and then proceeding to try and get himself freed assuming the testing works out his way.

If he loses at the Supreme Court, then he goes back onto the Execution Schedule of the State of Texas.  And Texas Governor Perry will start getting lots of phone calls, emails, and such from lots of people.  People like the President of France.


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