Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.”     Milton Friedman

March 19, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Perry to Give Hank Skinner 30 More Days

by Stephen Littau

With less than five days until the scheduled execution of Hank Skinner, a DNA testing laboratory in Phoenix, AZ has offered to test evidence that Skinner’s attorneys say will prove his innocence. Chromosomal Laboratories has told Texas Gov. Rick Perry that they will run the tests for free if Perry agrees to grant Skinner a 30-day reprieve. Under Texas law, the governor has the authority to grant a one-time reprieve for capital cases.

The Texas Tribune reports that Gov. Perry has not decided whether or not he will grant the reprieve and said that any decision to test the DNA will be decided in the courts.

My question for Gov. Perry is what is there to think about? The man has been on death row for 15 years; what is the harm in giving him just 30 more days to determine once and for all if he is guilty or not? The state cannot give Skinner his 15 years back if the state turns out to be wrong but he could at least live the rest of his life a free man. The state obviously cannot give Skinner his life back once the state takes it from him, however.

Whether you oppose the death penalty or not we can all agree that the state should at least make every reasonable effort to ensure that the person being put to death by the state actually committed the crime. This is not an unreasonable request.

The execution is scheduled for March 24, 2010 so there isn’t much time left to act (see the contact information below).

Opinion Lines
Texas callers: (800) 252-9600
Out of state callers and Austin residents: (512) 463-1782

Office of the Governor, Main Switchboard (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST): (512) 463-2000

Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849

The Innocence Project also has an easy petition that only takes a few minutes to fill out.

Related: Former Texas Prosecutor and Judge Both Believe the State Has Executed More Than One Innocent Man

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  1. [...] The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Perry … [...]

    Pingback by NCAA LIVE BLOG: Follow Day 2 action here – Waterbury Republican American (blog) | Top Web News — March 19, 2010 @ 4:08 pm
  2. Just curious: why a 30 day reprieve? How long does it take to run the DNA? Why will they only run it if he’s granted a 30 day reprieve?

    Comment by J Rog — March 19, 2010 @ 4:15 pm
  3. J, the 30 day reprieve is according to Texas statute; the governor can grant one per capital case.Chromosomal Laboratories, the lab which has offered to test the samples, say that would be more than enough time to run the tests and have the results ready.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — March 20, 2010 @ 9:15 am
  4. [...] ACTION ALERT: Tell Gov. Perry to Give Hank Skinner 30 More Days [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Hank Skinner Execution Update: Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles Deny DNA Test Request — March 22, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

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