DMI Blog

Ezekiel Edwards

Ask Alabama Governor to grant DNA testing for Death Row Inmate

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court delayed the execution of Tommy Arthur, an inmate on Alabama's death row for two decades who was scheduled to be executed last night, because the Court will soon consider whether lethal injections represent cruel and unusual punishment.

That issue aside, Mr. Arthur says he is innocent of the murder for which he has already served almost 25 years, but the Supreme Court has refused to hear this argument.

Significantly, however, there is biological evidence from his case that could prove whether he is guilty or innocent, yet the courts – and the state governor, Bob Riley – refuse to grant testing. The Innocence Project has written several letters to Gov. Riley over the last few weeks, but he hasn't taken any action to ascertain the truth by conducting DNA testing in Mr. Arthur's case.

DNA testing has only three possible outcomes in this case. First, it can confirm Mr. Arthur's guilt and put to rest any lingering doubts. Second, due to possible degradation of the sample, it can simply provide no new information at all. Or third, it can prove Mr. Arthur's innocence and possibly even identify the real killer, preventing the state from erroneously executing an innocent man and eliminating the danger from the actual perpetrator remaining at large. And yet, thus far, Alabama does not seem interested in knowing with scientific certainty whether it is executing a guilty man or an innocent man. A failure on the part of Governor Riley's office to order DNA testing --- apart from being utterly baffling --- would be morally unjustifiable.

If you have 30 seconds, please send an email to Gov. Riley today to help deliver a powerful message that people across the country are watching how Alabama handles this case, and that many people still care about the truth.

To send the email, just go to the Innocence Project's website at


Ezekiel Edwards: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 7:00 AM, Dec 07, 2007 in Criminal Justice
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