Hank Skinner’s execution has been stayed.
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition! The news media mentioned in many articles that more than 129,000 signed the petition, so you helped make a difference.
Here’s the language from the court order:
This is a direct appeal of the trial court’s ruling on a motion for DNA testing filed in the 31st Judicial District Court of Gray County, Cause No. 5216, styled The State of Texas v. Henry Watkins Skinner. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 64.05. Appellant’s execution is stayed pending the resolution of this appeal.
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 64, which provides for DNA testing, has undergone several changes since its creation, but those changes have never been reviewed in the particular context of this case. Because the DNA statute has changed, and because some of those changes were because of this case, we find that it would be prudent for this Court to take time to fully review the changes in the statute as they pertain to this case.
Furthermore, in denying the motion for DNA testing, the convicting court has failed to enter determinations under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 64.03. The convicting court shall enter an order containing the relevant Article 64.03 determinations within 15 days of the date of this order. That order shall then be included within a supplemental clerk’s record, which record shall be forwarded to this Court within 30 days of the date of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED THIS THE 7th DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2011.
Hank Skinner’s wife Sandrine will be one of the speakers this weekend at the national conference of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, which is being held for the first time in Austin, Texas.