SCOTUS, Not Gov. Perry, Grants Hank Skinner a Reprieveby Stephen Littau
Hank Skinner will not be executed today. With about an hour left before Skinner was to be taken to the death chamber, SCOTUS put an immediate halt to the process.
The brief order grants him the delay but does not ensure he will get such [DNA] testing. Perry had not decided on the delay.
In the order, the justices said they would put off the execution until they decide whether to review his case. If the court refuses the review, the reprieve is lifted, according to the order, and Skinner would become eligible for another execution date.
So it looks like the process is back at square one. If the court refuses the review and the reprieve is lifted, a new date will be set and Skinner’s life will be back in Gov. Rick Perry’s hands. Hopefully this case will generate even more attention than it already has and even more pressure will be placed on Perry and others to make sure the DNA testing takes place if SCOTUS doesn’t force the issue first.
There certainly are no guarantees other than the fact that Texas will not risk killing an innocent man on this day.