News 07.24.07

Alabama execution scheduled for Thursday despite inmate’s pleas for a DNA test

Darrell Grayson was sentenced to death in Alabama in 1982 for the murder of an elderly woman two years earlier. He is scheduled to be executed on Thursday for this crime, without the benefit of DNA testing that could confirm or deny the state’s theory of Grayson’s guilt.

Grayson does not remember whether he was involved in the crime. He says he had been drinking heavily on the night of the crime and doesn’t know whether he did it. An alleged co-defendant, Victor Kennedy, was executed for the crime in 1999. There is biological evidence from the crime scene that could prove Grayson’s innocence or guilt, but prosecutors have fought testing, even with Grayson’s advocates paying for the tests.

A column in the Birmingham News this week calls for Alabama Gov. Bob Riley to stay the execution and order testing.

I don't claim to know whether Darrell Grayson raped and killed Annie Orr almost three decades ago. Truth be told, Grayson himself doesn't claim to know…

But (DNA results are) one more piece of information that (are) readily available and that should be obtained before the state inflicts a punishment it can't undo. For Grayson, this is a big gamble. For state officials, who say they're convinced Grayson is guilty anyway, all that's on the line is a little time. Riley should order the test.



Read the full column

. (Birmingham News, 07/22/2007)

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