Update on Blankenship: DNA evidence to be assessed for possible testing

posted Feb 4, 2011, 7:46 AM by Kathryn Hamoudah   [ updated Aug 31, 2012, 8:29 AM by GFADP staff ]

We have an update on Roy Blankenship’s case.

As you recall, Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty sent letters to the GA Parole Board asking that they test allow for DNA evidence to be tested. Though it was deemed inconclusive in 1978, this DNA evidence may prove him innocent today, as testing has never been done even though defense counsel has asked repeatedly.

Moments ago, a Chatham County Superior Court Judge ordered that the untested DNA evidence be transferred to a lab for an assessment about whether DNA testing can in fact be done. This does not mean that DNA testing WILL be done - yet. We will update you as more information becomes available. We include an AJC article about this development below.

Many thanks for your advocacy to the Parole Board on behalf of Mr. Blankenship! Stay tuned for more info throughout the day.



9:55 a.m. Friday, February 4, 2011

Judge orders DNA evidence to be assessed before execution

By Bill Rankin 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A judge has ordered an assessment as to whether DNA evidence can be tested before a man convicted of raping a killing a Savannah woman is to be executed on Wednesday.

In an order signed Friday, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Michael Karpf directed the DNA evidence be sent to the GBI crime lab in Savannah for evaluation. The order was signed after attorneys for condemned inmate Roy Willard Blankenship told Karpf the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles wanted to determine if the evidence is still suitable for testing.

Blankenship sits on death row for the March 2, 1978, killing of 78-year-old Sarah Mims Bowen, who was found dead in her apartment.