Last week, we filed a motion requesting DNA testing for Larry Swearingen, who is on death row in Texas. The execution is scheduled for February 27. Larry was convicted of the 1998 murder of college student Melissa Trotter, but several forensic experts have raised serious questions about the timeline of events and have testified that Melissa was killed after Larry was arrested and in jail for unrelated traffic warrants. Larry has always maintained his innocence and has been requesting DNA testing of crime scene evidence to support his claims for years.
Larry’s appeals for DNA testing have been turned down three times previously. The Texas Legislature has since amended state law — specifically in response to Larry’s case — in order to make it easier for those seeking to prove their innocence to have access to post-conviction DNA testing.
Now that the legislature has made it clear that DNA testing should be allowed when it can prove innocence, we are hopeful that the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office will consent to testing for Larry before it is too late. Please join me in calling on District Attorney Brett Ligon to allow DNA testing of crime scene evidence for Larry Swearingen.
- Wrongfully Convicted Man Tells Senators of the Importance of DNA Testing (legaltimes.typepad.com)
- DNA Test Confirms that Man is Sherman Hemsley’s Brother (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- DNA testing on helicopter wreckage – Newstalk ZB (newstalkzb.co.nz)
- DNA testing frees man who lived on death row for 15 years (guardian.co.uk)
- DNA testing frees man who lived on death row for 15 years (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
- DNA tests for droppings: Incentive to clean your dog’s mess (omaha.com)