Despite a halt in capital punishment in many states due to a Supreme Court challenge to lethal injection, Alabama officials announced yesterday they had scheduled two executions for December and January. Set for Dec. 6 is the execution of Thomas Arthur, who has always said he was wrongfully convicted and is still seeking DNA testing in his case. The Innocence Project has asked Alabama Gov. Bob Riley to delay Arthur’s execution until DNA testing can be performed. Riley has refused these repeated requests.
“As we have said before, we do not have a position on whether Thomas Arthur is guilty or innocent. Our concern is that biological evidence may exist that could be subjected to DNA testing and prove whether or not he is guilty. The victim’s wife in this case was convicted of murdering her husband and then changed her story; DNA testing could show that she changed her story only to get out of prison sooner, and that in fact someone other than Thomas Arthur committed this crime,” Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld said in September, after Riley granted a 45-day stay for Alabama to review lethal injection procedures.