“I am innocent,” Chanthakoummane said in a letter filed in federal court in March.
His lawyers experienced questioned the Texas Courtroom of Felony Appeals to continue to be his execution, demanding the DNA proof, which was earlier explained by the appeals court as the “linchpin of the state’s scenario.” The appeals court docket this 7 days denied the ask for. Eric Allen, 1 of Chanthakoummane’s lawyers, mentioned he hadn’t resolved if he would file a last appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
His lawyers had argued new science raises the chance Chanthakoummane’s DNA could have been transferred to Walker’s fingernails devoid of any immediate get in touch with between the two.
But authorities say prior DNA tests in his circumstance has unsuccessful to clear Chanthakoummane.
“Any belief by Chanthakoummane that further more DNA investigation would produce outcomes that will be helpful to his case is a fantasy,” lawyers with the Texas Attorney General’s Place of work wrote in court paperwork past month.
On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles declined to grant Chanthakoummane both a 120-day reprieve or a commutation of his death sentence to a lesser penalty.
Chanthakoummane’s lawyers say their considerations about the DNA evidence is section of a pattern by prosecutors of applying defective evidence in the case.
At Chanthakoummane’s trial, a forensic dentist testified the dying row inmate was the source of a bite mark on Walker’s neck. These types of evidence has due to the fact been discredited and in 2016, Texas grew to become the initially condition to connect with for banning chunk mark evaluation in legal situations.
The two witnesses who claimed they noticed Chanthakoummane in the vicinity of the murder scene ended up hypnotized by officers with the Texas Office of General public Basic safety, or DPS, to assistance recognize him.
A 2020 report by the Dallas Morning Information uncovered most Texas judges even now make it possible for evidence derived from hypnosis despite criticism it can distort recollections and lead to wrongful convictions. In January 2021, DPS stopped employing hypnosis. Very last calendar year, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a monthly bill that would have banned persons who have been hypnotized from testifying in a prison trial.
In October 2020, the Texas Court of Felony Appeals identified that though the bitemark testimony would no more time be admissible in court docket, Chanthakoummane’s lawyers experienced unsuccessful to discredit the hypnosis-similar testimony.
The appeals court docket also uncovered the DNA proof was even now powerful.
At his trial, Chanthakoummane’s attorney, Keith Gore, instructed jurors his consumer was responsible “and he preferred to rob (Walker), and it did not go the ideal way, and he killed her.”
Walker’s father, Joseph Walker, who died very last 12 months, had opposed Chanthakoummane’s execution and had told the Times Union in New York in 2013 he experienced forgiven his daughter’s killer.
If Chanthakoummane is executed, he would be the next inmate put to dying this year in Texas and the ninth in the U.S.
Whilst Texas has been the nation’s busiest funds punishment condition, the use of the demise penalty in the state has achieved in the vicinity of historic lows. Juries have continued to issue fewer death sentences and in the very last pair of yrs most executions have been delayed by the pandemic or by legal issues over what religious advisers can do in the dying chamber.
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