U.S. Supreme Court Stops Texas Execution of Hank Skinner

Hank Skinner was already eating his last meal Wednesday when he received word of his stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. Skinner was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1993 murders of his girlfriend, Twila Busby, and her two mentally disabled adult sons. Skinner has always maintained his innocence and for more than a decade, has been asking Texas courts to test DNA evidence that was not analyzed during his 1995 trial. The evidence still untested includes a rape kit from Busby, biological material under her fingernails, hair and sweat on a man’s windbreaker, a bloody towel, and knives found at the scene remain. His requests for DNA testing of this evidence have been repeatedly rejected.

Toxicology tests from Skinner showed that he was passed out on the couch, nearly in a coma from a mix of vodka and codeine, at the time of the crime. He argues that the real murderer attacked Busby and her sons while he was passed out. And the ex-girlfriend who testified against him at the trial later recanted her story.

Skinner is convinced that the real killer was Busby’s uncle, Robert Donnell, who was killed in a 1997 car crash. Donnell had a violent past, an incestuous relationship with Busby, and had made unwanted drunken advances toward her at a party the night of the murders.

Larry King Live featured this story last night. Watch it here.

You can read more about this case here.

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