AMARILLO, Texas (CN) - Henry Skinner, who is scheduled to be executed early next year, claims that 31st Judicial District Attorney Lynn Switzer has DNA evidence that could prove his innocence, but refuses to release it.
Skinner was convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 for the murders of his girlfriend Twila Busby and her sons Elwin Caler and Randy Busby.
"On October 20,2009, without giving Plaintiff's attorneys any notice or an opportunity to be heard, the 31st District Court entered an order directing that Plaintiff be executed by intravenous injection 'at any time after the hour of 6:00 p.m. on the 24th day of February, 2010,'" according to his federal complaint.
It adds: "Defendant's refusal to release the biological evidence for testing violates Plaintiffs Fourteenth Amendment right to due process and his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff requests of this Court an order declaring that Defendant's continued withholding of the evidence violates Plaintiffs constitutional rights and requiring that Defendant release the evidence to Plaintiff under a reasonable protocol regarding chain of custody and preservation of the evidence, in order that Plaintiff can have the evidence tested at his own expense."
His lead counsel is Robert Owen of Austin.
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