New developments in Alabama case; Governor should stay execution to conduct DNA testing


Tommy Arthur has been on Alabama’s death row for a quarter-century for a murder he says he didn’t commit. He is scheduled to be executed tomorrow night, and the Alabama Supreme Court rejected one of his final appeals yesterday by a 6-2 vote. But new evidence surfaced yesterday, and it makes an irrefutable case for conducting DNA testing in the case.

Another Alabama inmate has confessed to killing Troy Wicker in exchange for $2,000, according to court papers filed yesterday, and DNA testing could prove whether his claim is true. Bobby Ray Gilbert says he killed Wicker in exchange for $2,000 from Wicker’s wife, with whom he was having an affair at the time. He says he had sex with Wicker’s wife after the crime and that he also wore a wig that day. Police collected the wig, and a rape kit containing biological evidence was collected from Wicker’s wife at the hospital. Both items of evidence are still available for testing.

The State Attorney General discounted the new evidence and said the execution should go forward.

More than 3,000 people have sent emails to Alabama Gov. Bob Riley urging him to stay Arthur’s execution in order to conduct DNA testing. It takes just one minute and your voice can make the difference –

send your letter today


More news coverage of developments in Arthur’s case:


Birmingham News editorial:

Thomas Arthur is to be executed Thursday for a murder another prisoner now claims he committed. Clearly, these claims must be investigated before the execution occurs

. (07/30/08)

Birmingham News:

Convicted murderer serving life says he, not Thomas Arthur, killed Troy Wicker Jr. in 1982


Letters to Birmingham News

Associated Press:

AG, victim’s wife dismiss claims in Wicker death


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