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Monday, April 23, 2018

Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner, France

Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner is the wife of Hank Skinner, a man who has spent the last fifteen years on Texas death row trying to prove his innocence.

Hank was convicted of murder on three counts in 1994 and sentenced to death in March 1995.

However there are numerous unanswered questions, documented evidence in his favor and untested evidence to justify his claim of innocence:

  • he was convicted only on the testimony of a state witness who later recanted;
  • medical testing before the trial excluded him as a suspect;
  • while key evidence from the crime scene, including the murder weapons, is still to be tested for DNA. The state of Texas has denied two motions for post-conviction DNA testing on procedural grounds.

These are grounds (at the very least) to cast a serious doubt on Hank’s guilt – a conviction, it should be remembered, that will see him lose his life.

Sandrine has been fighting against the death penalty for the vast majority of her adult life. She met Hank after being invited by the Lamp of Hope project (set up and run by death row prisoners) to correspond with a couple of prisoners on death row. After four years of correspondence they started to visit in 2000 and were married in October 2008.

Quotes

“For more than 14 years now, my life has been split between Texas and France. Texas is my second home. It is a state that I love and where I have met a number of extraordinary people. Hank’s life and his case have paced the choices in my personal and professional life. His case exposes a very large number of systematic, if not automatic, problems which plague the application of the death penalty in Texas.”