News 03.24.10

Calls for DNA Testing Grow in Hours Before Scheduled Execution

With just a few hours before his scheduled execution, Texas prisoner Hank Skinner is still waiting for a possible stay of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court or Gov. Rick Perry. Advocates from around the world are calling for the state the delay the execution to allow for DNA testing that could prove innocence or guilt – but as of now Skinner is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. CDT (7 p.m. EDT).

Yesterday, Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and Representative Elliott Naishtat

sent letters to Perry

urging him to grant a stay in the case.  The French government has also called on Perry to order to tests (Skinner’s wife is French), and more than 10,000 others from around the world have sent letters to Perry through our website and change.org.

Send your letter here

.

The case has garnered a great deal of media attention today, and the Larry King Live show on CNN will feature a discussion of the case

tonight

, including an interview with Skinner’s wife from outside death row.

Ellis, the chairman of the Innocence Project Board of Directors, evoked in his letter the memory of Tim Cole, who died in prison in 1999 and was posthumously exonerated through DNA testing.

Perry delivered a posthumous pardon

to Cole’s family at a ceremony last week.

“In honor of Tim Cole,” Ellis wrote, “I ask that you give Mr. Skinner a 30-day reprieve so that DNA testing can be performed and we can be absolutely certain that Mr. Skinner is truly guilty – before it’s too late.”

Join Ellis and more than 10,000 others –

send your letter now

.

We’ll post case updates to the Innocence Blog today and this evening as soon as we have them.

Photo credit: Texas Tribune

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