A San Jacinto County district judge has ruled that a crucial piece of evidence that might help determine whether Texas executed an innocent man almost seven years ago must be preserved while The Texas Observer, the Innocence Project, and other criminal justice groups pursue a lawsuit seeking to have it tested by an independent laboratory.
Judge Elizabeth Coker on Monday issued a temporary restraining order barring county officials from destroying evidence in the case of Claude Howard Jones, who was executed on December 7, 2000, for killing a liquor store owner. Coker scheduled a hearing for October 3 to consider allowing DNA testing of a hair found at the crime scene.
Jones’s conviction rested largely on a single, 1-inch strand of hair found on the liquor store counter. A state expert testified at trial that the hair closely resembled Jones’, but it was never subjected to DNA testing.
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.
We hope that you will join us in this fight for fairness and social justice.Please join our email list and become one of the more than 20,000 people receiving information through our network.