Supreme Court Refuses to Order Access to DNA Evidence Sought to Clear Death Row Inmate

The Supreme Court has refused to give a death row inmate, Thomas Arthur, access to critical DNA evidence that he is seeking to prove his innocence.

Arthur, 65, was sentenced for the 1982 killing of Troy Wicker. The victim’s wife, Judy Wicker, testified that she had sex with Arthur and paid him $10,000 to kill her husband. Troy Wicker was shot in the face as he lay in bed. However, the wife had testified in her own trial that a burglar raped her, knocked her unconscious and shot her husband. Arthur wants access to a rape kit, bloodstained clothing and hairs but was denied as being little more than speculation and raised too late.

As the country wrestles with the entire concept of the death penalty, we should all at least agree that DNA evidence should be available for review at any time before execution. Arthur may be guilty and simply delaying matters. However, where is the foul in allowing testing to occur. In 1982 such testing was not routinely done. If society is going to take a life, it should go the extra mile in allowing such review of critical evidence.

One thought on “Supreme Court Refuses to Order Access to DNA Evidence Sought to Clear Death Row Inmate”

  1. I’m sure the loons of the ultra-right are cheering this kind of “justice.”

    Not too long ago (Professor Turley will recognize this, I’m sure)in Virginia, a DNA test was available to clear a prisoner on death row but was rejected as being too late for review. Worse, also in Virgina new evidence of a different kind was sought to be used as a new review in an appellate court in a death case, but the same ground for refusal was used by the court. It seems tht Virgina, like other red states (Texas comes to mind) can hardly wait to execute the convict. Virginia seemingly is emerging from its Dark Age as shown by the election of Jim Webb to the Senate. John Warner is leaving on retirement, and Mark Warner (not related) is running for the vacant seat. He is very much the same type Democrat as Webb is. The Senate and the Nation will be that much better served with Webb and Warner as Virginia’s senators.

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