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.