The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Hank Skinner:
Another Innocent Man Facing Execution

Nov 28, 2011

On November 9th, the execution of Hank Skinner was stopped for the second time. The Supreme Court decided to take up his lawyers’ appeal after a Texas court once again rejected his request for the DNA test which could prove his innocence. But given the Supreme Court’s violently reactionary record, this stay of execution may be only temporary.

Henry Skinner was convicted in 1995 for the triple murder of his companion and her two children, following a rushed trial of two hours. He denies he committed the murders.

For the last ten years, he has been supported by the “Innocence Project,” run by a journalism professor who investigated the case with his students. According to this investigation, there was “no confession, no witnesses, no motive, and no prior acts of violence by Skinner introduced at trial.” Nor were there tests comparing his DNA to that found on the victims.

The Texas system of “justice” has done everything to avoid questioning this verdict, as if it wanted to hide Skinner’s innocence.

But it’s not only Texas. Remember, only two months ago, Georgia executed, with the tacit approval of the Supreme Court, Troy Davis, a man who by all accounts was completely innocent.

The U.S. presents a barbaric face to the world.

Even in the case of a man who commits a crime, even a horrible one, nothing justifies a government when it imitates him, killing him in turn.

The death penalty is nothing but state-ordered murder, so-called vengeance, which has nothing to do with justice. The death penalty may eliminate a man who has been convicted–but it does nothing about the horribly exploitative and unequal system which is at the root of crime. It simply covers it up.