AG, Lawyers for Hank Skinner Argue Over DNA in Death Penalty Case | The Texas Tribune
At the hearing in February, the state’s expert, Brent Hester, a forensic scientist from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Lubbock laboratory, said that more than half of the items from the crime scene that analysts tested either produced no results or produced results that couldn’t be interpreted.
There is every reason to doubt that evidence from 1995 “produced results that couldn’t be interpreted.”
I have previously posted at length about Orchid Cellmark being completely fine with receiving both William Dillon and Gary Bennett’s evidence from Brevard County, Florida arriving at their Dallas County, Texas facility in suspect condition.
William’s was unsealed, but testable – he’s was freed after serving 27 years of a killer’s time.
Gary’s was sealed, but washed free of biological material and untestable – he remains framed … he’s already served over 30 years for multiple killers (multiple weapons).
That William and Gary’s evidence both came from Brevard was hardly the only similarly; their hearings were before the same judge, W. David Duggan, who was not alarmed over the condition of William or Gary’s evidence. And both men had been framed using charlatan dog handler John Preston, discedited in 1982 in Dale Sutton’s federal case (Sutton was release in January of 1983).
Per the January 30, 1984 Sentinel article, “Legal foes differ on value of dog’s nose,” the media, law enforcement, public defenders, prosecutors and likely even judges knew of Dale Sutton’s case before Gary Bennett’s frame-up. The Sentinel‘s complicity is evident in their not specifically naming John Preston as being the dog handler discredited in Dale Sutton’s case … they didn’t even print Sutton’s name. Not surprisingly, on the Sentinel‘s stomping grounds, Preson had been used – with FBI participation – to convict Linroy Bottoson, who was executed in 2002 despite his schizophrenia, despite the recantation of the coached jailhouse informant, despite Preston being discredited twenty years earlier.
Like many if not most forensic DNA labs, Orchid Cellmark has the ability to “expand” DNA, amplifying the size of a sample in order to make it testable. This was the case when Judge W. David Duggan issued an extraordinary order that it okay to entirely consume DNA in testing evidence.
The Dallas FBI field office accepted an official complaint regarding the condition of William Dillon and Gary Bennett’s evidence from two of Gary’s sisters and me. They’ve since blocked my emails from reaching them, and have made no contact with either of Gary’s sisters.
In the same county where William and Gary were framed, Jeff Abramowski was framed with a blatant misrepresentation of DNA test results – two of of 15 markers is never a “hit;” there’s no such thing as a unique factor on one marker that can make it otherwise. There were actual “hits” for two other individuals, Judy Foley and Michael Bruce Foley, and they were found in possession of some of the homicide victim’s personal belongings, and had fled to another state after the homicide. This is within the FBI and Justice Department’s knowledge.
Long story short, Texas, Florida and any other state can mess with DNA, and feds won’t care. I don’t for a moment believe that Hank Skinner’s evidence couldn’t be properly tested.
No one should.