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Texas Court, Not Rick Perry, Issues Stay of Hank Skinner's Execution

By Mike Riggs

A spokesperson in Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office has confirmed that a stay of execution has been granted for Hank Skinner, the Texas man convicted in 1995 for the murder of his girlfriend and her two adult sons two years earlier. The stay comes from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, not Perry himself. 

Skinner was set to be executed on November 9, despite the fact that much of the physical evidence related to his case had not been tested for DNA. That evidence will now be tested. I asked Perry's office which tests will be performed, and when, and was told they'd get back to me with that information this afternoon. 

The Texas Tribune's Brandi Grissom confirmed with Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that the court, not Perry, issued the stay. Radley Balko, whose reporting on Skinner is top-notch, confirmed the same thing with Skinner's legal team, and adds that not all of the evidence that Skinner wants tested still exists. 

UPDATE: Radley has more on the court order for the stay. First and foremost, he notes that the order isn't for DNA testing, it's "a stay to determine if he should get DNA testing." 


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