I'd previously noted that ordering DNA testing on the Tommy Arthur evidence seemed like an easy decision. In that post I quoted the B'ham News as follows:
I'd noted in a later post that the B'ham News opined, "In the case of Death Row inmate Thomas Arthur, for instance, Riley has seemed to run through a series of excuses not to order DNA testing - none of which hold up to close scrutiny." When I later called Bob Riley a stubborn ass I figured it might be that he was "seemingly more interested in showing he is a manly man than a compassionate and cautious soul."
A test that raises questions about Arthur's guilt will indeed open a whole new can of worms - but it's a can that should be opened before Arthur is put to death for a crime he insists he did not commit.
Riley is called on to make many difficult decisions as governor. But this isn't a difficult one. Riley should order DNA testing for any Death Row inmate who disputes his guilt and whose case involved evidence that could be screened.
Although I'd briefly mentioned allegations of missing evidence when a stay was recently granted due to new evidence, in the form of an admission of guilt from another inmate that apparently doesn't have any contact with Arthur, Bob Martin of The Montgomery Independent has much more to offer on this development. Finding this piece in my hometown Randolph Leader is pleasing yet I hate that I've seen much of anything like that around the rest of Alabama's media options. The Google helped me find this Times-Daily's piece which contained:
Has the AG's office really known for six months of the problem? Reckon Prince Troy let Bob Riley know of this MIA evidence? His "series of excuses" surely seems understandable now. Outrageous! How's that Christianity working out for you Governor? I'd like to think reporters and journalists and ... would be asking some hardball questions to the Governor and Prince Troy. If they don't, then who will? If these two leaders dodge the questions once asked will the corporate media in Alabama report the same?
Clay Crenshaw, head of the attorney general's capital litigation section, said he asked the Muscle Shoals Police Department, the Colbert County district attorney's office and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for the rape kit that was done on Judy Wicker, but was told they didn't have it.
(Arthur's defense attorney, Suhana) Han said she does not think Crenshaw's explanation is sufficient. "Why is the state only inquiring about it the last six months when we have been litigating (for it) since 2002? The state needs to explain what happened to Judy Wicker's rape kit," Han said.
Even the B'ham News' Editorial Board wrote after the stay was granted the following: