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The Skinner Stay

| 3 Comments
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' stay order in the Skinner case, previously noted here, is finally on that court's website.  The order is not long, so I've copied it in full after the jump.
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.

3 Comments

Generally speaking, in 2011, wouldn't a prosecutor simply have all the evidence tested, regardless of the defense counsel's wishes? Not trying to argue against the State's position here, but if this isn't an issue that's likely to recur, why not simply get the evidence tested?

Not necessarily, Federalist. While I certainly see your point, often there is simply too much evidence to make testing everything feasible, so the prosecutor must select a subset of items most likely to yield probative evidence.

Thx. Appreciate the insight.

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