Texas is moving closer to carrying out the execution of Henry Skinner on March 24, despite the fact that critical evidence from the crime scene, which could point to a different suspect, has not been subjected to DNA testing . Many of the major state newspapers in Texas have editorialized for a delay to the execution to allow for the DNA testing. On March 22, the Texas Board of Parole and Pardons refused to recommend clemency for Skinner. Attorneys at the Capital Punishment Center at the University of Texas School of Law, who now represent Skinner, have written a letter to Gov. Rick Perry asking for a 30-day reprieve and an order for DNA testing, stating, “While Texans undoubtedly support capital punishment, they insist that it be reserved for those who are clearly guilty.” There is also a pending request before the U.S. Supreme Court that could open the path for the testing. If these requests are rejected, Skinner will be executed tomorrow evening (March 24) with unresolved innocence claims. UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of execution to Skinner shortly before he was to be executed on March 24. The Court wants more to time to consider his petition regarding DNA testing.

(A. Turner, “Board declines reprieve for man convicted in Panhandle slayings,” Houston Chronicle, March 22, 2010; “Death row inmate entitled to delay for DNA tests,” The Austin American-Statesman, March 22, 2010). See also Innocence and Executed Despite Doubts About Guilt.