Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Alabama Exposure: Dana Beyerle

Published Sunday, December 23, 2007
Alabama Exposure: Dana Beyerle
A challenge: Match the pork to the politician DNA tests on death row

The Innocence Project has again asked Gov. Bob Riley to order DNA testing for death row inmate Thomas Douglas Arthur.

He faces lethal injection after being convicted three times in the 1982 contract killing of Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals. The Innocence Project, in an e-mail, provided the names of six inmates who were wrongfully convicted but released after DNA testing exonerated them.

Arthur says he's innocent. There was evidence taken from the crime scene in 1982 but whether it's still viable for DNA testing hasn't been addressed because courts haven't considered it.

Arthur's scheduled execution is on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the legality of lethal injection.

Riley has resisted DNA testing, saying it's a delaying tactic to a legal conviction and death sentence. The Innocence Project said the letter is the first from persons who were exonerated by DNA after serving time on death row.

"We do not know whether Tommy Arthur is guilty or innocent," the letter said, but DNA testing could provide "compelling proof" of his guilt or innocence.

Dana Beyerle is in the Montgomery bureau of the New York Times Regional Media Group.

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