Texas Death Row's Hank Skinner and the US Supreme Court - What About Post Conviction DNA Testing Under 42 USC §1983?


On Monday, May 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed by Texas Death Row Inmate Hank Skinner. It's a case to watch, because it means that the High Court will hear Skinner's argument he has a right to pursue a civil claim, not a criminal one, regarding his continuing assertion that he is innocent of the crime for which he has been sentenced to death.

What Hank Skinner's savvy defense attorneys have done is file a civil rights claim which argues that his constitutional rights have been violated because the State of Texas didn't allow him to test evidence that was not tested at trial. He's not arguing this as part of his criminal case (writ of habeas corpus); he's arguing it as a civil matter.

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