Henry Watkins “Hank” Skinner (born April 4, 1962) is a death row in Texas. In 1995, he was convicted of beating to death his cohabiting girlfriend Twila Busby and stabbing her two adult sons Randy Busby and Elwin Caler. On March 24, 2010, 20 minutes before his scheduled execution (the second execution date), the U.S. Supreme Court issued a suspended execution procedure to consider whether Skinner could require his lawyer to choose in the initial trial The issue of untested DNA testing was carried out for the third time in 1994 on November 9, 2011, and was eventually shelved by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 7, 2011.
On March 6, 2011, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that Skinner can claim under 42 USC § 1983 (see the Civil Rights Act of 1871) that Texas’s post-conviction DNA test rules upon which judges rely are too narrow or restrictive Strong s3x.
The ruling did not explicitly grant Skinner the DNA test he had been seeking, but on June 1, 2012, the Texas Attorney General’s Office finally agreed to analyze the evidence requested by the defense.
On November 14, 2012, the Texas Attorney General’s Office issued a notice to the Gray County District Court convicting Skinner and informing the court that the DNA test further involved Skinner in the Busby family In the murder case. The findings include: Skinner’s blood was found in many places in the back bedroom where Busby’s two sons were murdered. Skinner’s DNA was also found on a bloody knife handle, but it was discovered along with DNA from one of the sons and an “unknown contributor.” Skinner’s lawyer Rob Owen has requested additional DNA tests to identify DNA from “unknown contributors” on the knife and in the back bedroom.
In addition, the state also lost a bloody jacket found under Twila Busby’s arm. Skinner claimed that the jacket belonged to her uncle Robert Donnell, who was a convicted felon and was accused of harassing Twila. Skinner claimed that Donnell was the real killer.
On August 29, 2013, a private laboratory in Virginia announced the test results of four hairs on the hands of the victim woman Twila Busby. Three of them indicated that they had family contact with the three victims but did not belong to them. Only one belongs to Skinner. These results could lead to the guilt of the late (1997) uncle Robert Donnell. Twila Busby told friends that she had harassed her many times and before the murder Threatening her soon. As of September 2013, these findings have not yet been evaluated by judicial authorities.
From February 3 to 4, 2014, the evidence hearing was held in Pampa, Texas. “The prosecutor argued that these tests only confirmed Skinner’s guilt, while the lawyer for the 51-year-old defendant stated that the result raised enough questions about the identity of the perpetrator and the jury would not sentence him to death.” July 2014 , Judge Steven Emmert issued a ruling stating, “Even if recent DNA evidence was obtained in the 1995 trial, Skinner is still’very likely’ to be convicted of triple Murder”. Skinner’s lawyers said they would appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
As of March 2020, Skinner is still on death row. The district court continues to rule that DNA testing is not good for the defendant. The defense team believes that the third-party DNA detected is unclear, and the country has lost evidence. It should clearly exclude its reasonable conviction and even the death penalty.