Death Penalty

With 1 Hour Left, Supreme Court Stops Hank Skinner's Execution

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The Supreme Court temporarily stopped Hank Skinner's execution only one hour before the state of Texas was set to execute him for a triple homicide.

Skinner, who has maintained his innocence for 16 years, has asked for DNA testing for the last 10 years. Thus far, the state has denied such testing.

However, the High Court said it wanted more time to consider Skinner's appeal.

While the court recently ruled 5 to 4 that the Constitution does not give convicts the right to demand DNA testing of crime-scene evidence, that case did not involve a prisoner facing execution.

According to the L.A. Times: Skinner had sued the county district attorney seeking DNA tests on semen and skin samples as well as two bloody knives and a man's windbreaker, all taken from the scene of a triple homicide in the north Texas town of Pampa 16 years ago.

Last week, a crime lab in Phoenix offered to conduct the testing for free.