Texas court denies DNA test for condemned man

3rd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Texas court on Thursday denied the request of death row inmate Hank Skinner for DNA testing he claims would prove his innocence, days before he is scheduled to be executed, his attorneys said.

Skinner was convicted of bludgeoning his girlfriend to death and fatally stabbing two of her children.

Barring a reprieve, his execution has been set for November 9.

Skinner has not denied being present in the home at the time of the killings but he has insisted that DNA collected at the site could clear him as a suspect in the 1993 crimes.

One of his attorneys, Robert Owen, told AFP he would ask an appeals court to reconsider the request.

Owen said he was "deeply disappointed" at the decision by the Gray County court but "hopeful" it would be overturned.

Texas has refused to carry out the tests on evidence found at the home ever since a jury convicted him in 1995.

Skinner has maintained his innocence since the beginning. But he has also enjoyed the support for 10 years of Northwestern University journalism professor David Protess, who has rerun the investigation with his students as part of the school's "innocence project."

He said DNA tests on Skinner would clear the death row inmate if compared to DNA found on the victims.

Skinner is now married to Frenchwoman and death penalty activist Sandrine Ageorges.

© 2011 AFP

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