Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner will be executed as planned on Nov. 9, as a judge has denied his request for testing DNA evidence that his attorneys have said could prove that Skinner is innocent.
According to CBS News, Judge Steven R. Emmert denied Skinner's request in an order that was issued on Wednesday. The order was made public on Thursday but didn't explain why the judge made the decision, according to CBS.
Skinner, 49, was convicted in 1995 for the 1993 murder of his girlfriend Twila Busby and her two sons. The DNA evidence wasn't tested before his 1995 trial.
Reports are that 40-year-old Busby and her sons Elwin Scooter Caler, 22, and Randy Busby, 20 were strangled, beaten or stabbed on New Year's Eve at their home in Pampa, which is located in the Texas Panhandle.
Skinner has repeatedly said he innocent and has claimed that he was incapacitated by drugs and alcohol at the time the incident happened.
The Houston Chronicle has reported that Skinner's blood tests showed there was a level of codeine and alcohol in his blood that would have left most people comatose.
Last year, Skinner managed to escape death when he got an eleventh-hour stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. The court had a 6-3 ruling that prison inmates may pursue a federal civil rights law asking for court-ordered DNA testing that wasn't done before their conviction.
However, that decision didn't give a guaranteed right to conduct genetic testing on evidence, according to CBS.
In July of this year, while that case was pending, the state asked for a new execution date for Skinner, which it received.
According to Houston Chronicle, the state has maintained that because Skinner's attorneys declined to test all the evidence that was available in 1995 because they feared it might incriminate Skinner, they couldn't later ask that it to be tested.
The Houston Chronicle has also reported that the Skinner's attorneys also failed to introduce evidence on another potential suspect. That potential suspect is Busby's uncle, who is now dead. The paper's report stated that not only did Busby's uncle have a history of violent crime, but he also stalked her and reportedly behaved in a suspicious manner after the crime.
The untested items in Skinner's case includes a man's windbreaker, which reportedly doesn't belong to the death row inmate, but was found beside the victim's body stained with blood splatter, human hair and perspiration. There are also swabs from a rape kit and two knives and towels and clothing, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Prosecutors have also reportedly said the DNA testing request is Skinner's attempt to delay his execution.
Skinner's attorneys have told the media that they are planning to appeal the judge's decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
The stakes in this case are too high to allow Mr. Skinner to be executed before he has a fair chance to make his case that the trial court made a grave mistake in denying his request for DNA testing, Robert Owen, an attorney for Skinner, told CBS.
CBS has reported that a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's Office has said his office was reviewing whether it would have any comment on the judge's ruling.
You can watch The Texas Tribune's Interview with Skinner below: