Thursday, January 31, 2013

Texas Death Row Inmate Larry Swearingen's Execution Stayed

Montgomery County state district court Judge Kelly Case on Wednesday withdrew an order that had set the execution of condemned murderer Larry Swearingen for Feb. 27. The judge's decision came after a hearing in which Swearingen's lawyers argued that more time was required to accomplish DNA testing they believe will prove his innocence in the 1998 murder of Melissa Trotter.

Montgomery County assistant district attorney Bill Delmore said he was disappointed with the decision, the first ruling in the case from the newly elected judge. Delmore said that prosecutors had offered to conduct the testing at the state's expense in an expedited manner that would allow the execution to proceed as scheduled. Swearingen's lawyers, however, declined.

"Their refusal to negotiate on the timing of doing the testing between now and the execution date suggests their motion was primarily for the purpose of delay," Delmore said.

Bryce Benjet, a lawyer for the New York-based Innocence Project who is representing Swearingen said that more time is needed to conduct the complicated testing that is necessary in the case.


Source: Texas Tribune, January 30, 2013