Alabama editorial: No excuse not to allow DNA testing in death row case


Yesterday, Alabama death row inmate Thomas Arthur came within hours of execution before Gov. Bob Riley ordered a 45-day stay in his execution. Riley said he was ordering the delay because the state was adjusting its lethal injection procedures, but the Innocence Project called on state officials to use this time to allow DNA testing that could prove Arthur’s innocence or guilt. The Birmingham News agreed with the Innocence Project this morning in an editorial, calling for Riley to order the DNA tests.

This 45-day period is more than enough time for Riley to order DNA testing on biological evidence in Arthur's case, which was prosecuted before today's scientific methods were developed.

The nonprofit Innocence Project of New York has said the results could be available in a couple of weeks, and the testing would come at no cost to the state. Even Wicker's family has expressed support for DNA testing; Arthur's case contains enough weird elements to justify some doubts.

Riley did the right thing in delaying the execution. Now, he has a perfect opportunity to go a step further and order DNA tests. As the Innocence Project said Thursday in a statement, there's no excuse not to.

Read the full editorial here

. (Birmingham News, 09/28/07)

Read yesterday’s Innocence Project press release on

Thomas Arthur’s case


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