Alabama Refuses To Allow Important DNA Test For Thomas
Thu Mar 1, 2012 17:25
February 29, 2012
Alabama Refuses To Allow Important DNA Test For Death Row Case By Susie Madrak
Andrew Cohen writes in The Atlantic about a particularly infuriating capital case in Alabama. As a reporter, these stories are depressing because you see prosecutors clinging to bad convictions, usually for political reasons:
Another month, another man on death row, another excruciating case that illustrates just some of the ways in which America's death penalty regime is unconstitutionally broken. This time, the venue is Alabama. This time, the murder that generated the sentence took place 30 years ago. And this time, there is an execution date of March 29, 2012, for Thomas Arthur, a man who has always maintained his innocence. He also has the unwelcome distinction of being one of the few prisoners in the DNA-testing era to be this close to capital punishment after someone else confessed under oath to the crime.
Late last month, I profiled the wobbly capital conviction against Troy Noling in Ohio and there are remarkable similarities between it and the Arthur case. Both involve white defendants. Both include contentions of innocence and allegations of bad lawyering at trial. Both include a lack of physical evidence linking the defendants to the crime. Both include crucial witness testimony that borders the farcical. And both include state officials reluctant to permit sophisticated DNA testing that might definitively answer questions about whether the defendants committed the murders they will die for.
Arthur's attorneys are even willing to pay for that testing, the few thousand bucks it would be, and the testing could be completed by the execution date. It is here where prosecutors and judges lose me when they prioritize "finality" in capital punishment cases at the expense of "accuracy." It would cost Alabama nothing to let Arthur's lawyers do the testing. And it might solve a case that already has cost the state millions of dollars. Instead, Alabama wants to finally solve its Arthur problem by executing him. No matter how the new DNA test could come out, the state is more interested in defending its dubious conviction.
Court grants convicted killer's stay of execution The Associated Press Published: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:06 a.m. Last Modified: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:06 a.m. A federal appeals court has... more
3/28/12 Arthur execution unlikely Thursday By Bernie Delinski Staff Writer The execution of death-row inmate Tommy Arthur appears to be on hold after a U.S. appeals court denied a motion to vacate... more
fwrd by CEPD Good news! Folks will hopefully have read the recent article we sent out from the New Abolitionist about this case and Arthur's fight for new DNA testing that could prove his innocence:... more
4/1/12 Attorney questions lethal-injection drug By Bernie Delinski Staff Writer While the Alabama Attorney Generalís office seeks to have another execution date set for death-row inmate Tommy Arthur, ... more
Thousands Take Action for Thomas Arthur Nearly 4,000 Innocence Project advocates have sent letters to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, asking him to allow attorneys for Thomas Arthur to conduct DNA... more
Alabama Refuses To Allow Important DNA Test For Thomas Petra.,Thu Mar 1 17:25