Death row inmate’s hopes are on Texas’s highest court


Michael Blair, an inmate on Texas’ death row, will wait for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to decide whether he deserves a new trial for a 1993 murder. DNA testing in the case has shown that biological evidence used against Blair at trial doesn’t actually belong to him. The Innocence Project is consulting with Blair's attorneys on the case.

A district court judge ruled yesterday that Blair doesn’t deserve a new trial based on the DNA evidence – which includes materials recovered from the body of the seven-year-old victim that don’t match either Blair or the victim. The ruling acknowledged that there are serious questions of fact and law in the case but said the law requires the Court of Criminal Appeals to address those questions. Blair is serving three life sentences for other crimes and would not be released if he is vindicated in this murder – but he would no longer be on death row.

"Every piece of biological evidence that was used to link Michael Blair to this crime at trial has been discredited by DNA, which also shows that someone else committed this crime," said Philip Wischkaemper, an attorney for Mr. Blair.

Read the full story here

. (Dallas Morning News, 4/19/07)

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