Texas man on death row has 'no illusions': wife

6th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner, set to be executed Wednesday, has "no illusions" about his fate despite pending appeals, his French wife said Saturday.

Anti-death penalty activist Sandrine Ageorges, who met and married Skinner while he was on death row in the 1990s, said her husband is "handling the situation quite well despite everything."

"He has no illusions about an overly politicized system to expect that the truth will carry the day," she told AFP in an email.

Ageorges said she is "realistic, and thus worried," adding that "the political dimension is taking over and that does not reassure me at all."

Skinner's fate depends in part on Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is running for president while boasting of his support for capital punishment.

Texas courts have denied requests by Skinner's lawyers for DNA tests he claims would exonerate him.

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.

Texas has refused to carry out the tests on evidence found at the home ever since a jury convicted him in 1995. Skinner's attorneys are asking an appeals court to reconsider the request.

Skinner has maintained his innocence since the beginning. 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."

© 2011 AFP

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