The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today stayed the execution of Hank Skinner, who was scheduled to be executed Wednesday despite his claim of innocence and his plea for DNA testing that has never been conducted.
The Court of Criminal Appeals ordered the stay so it could consider an appeal from Skinner’s attorneys for DNA tests that could prove his innocence.
In a written statement, Skinner’s lawyer, Rob Owen, said the decision “has ensured that Mr. Skinner’s request for DNA testing will receive the thorough and serious consideration it deserves.”
Skinner was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for killing his live-in girlfriend and her two adult sons – a crime he says he didn’t commit. After drinking alcohol and consuming Xanax the night of the murder, he said he was too intoxicated to have committed the crimes and has been seeking DNA testing for over a decade. Skinner, 49, came within an hour of lethal injection last year before the U.S Supreme Court stayed his execution so lower courts could consider DNA testing.