Nearly 30 years after a grisly crime known as the Lake Waco murders rocked the city and drew national attention, efforts are under way to exonerate the only living defendant through DNA testing of shoelaces used to tie up one of the victims. If the testing were to show the wrong people were convicted in the 1982 slaying of three teenagers, the ramifications could be much greater than simply freeing a man from prison. Because one of the four defendants in the case, David Wayne Spence, was executed, exoneration also could constitute the first proof of wrongful execution in modern U.S. history.Coincidentally, the attorney for the sole surviving defendant who is trying to get the evidence to have the DNA tested is Walter Reaves, the last appellate attorney for Todd Willingham before his execution. The article is behind a pay wall, so we paid. We reproduce it here because it contains important news that impacts a case of possible wrongful execution of another defendant in the case and because the public needs to demand that the DNA be tested. Remember the recent case of Michael Morton, whose exoneration was delayed by years because John Bradley, the prosecutor fought DNA testing. Anthony Melendez should not have to wait any longer for DNA testing that could prove his innocence. Judge paves way for DNA hearing in Lake Waco murders By Cindy V. Culp Tribune-Herald staff writer
Texas Moratorium Network (TMN) is a non-profit organization with the primary goal of mobilizing statewide support for a moratorium on executions in Texas. Significant death penalty reform in Texas, including a moratorium on executions, is a viable goal if the public is educated on the death penalty system and is encouraged to contact their elected representatives to urge passage of moratorium legislation.
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