It happened almost 20 years ago. The rape and murder of 19 year old Melissa Trotter. Larry Swearingen was convicted of the crime back in 2000. Swearingen has adamantly claimed his innocence since his conviction.

In the almost two decades since the crime, there have been vast improvements in DNA testing. And Swearingen is fighting for DNA testing of key evidence in the case, including the victims clothes, the murder weapon, and a rape kit. The only problem is the Texas courts keep shooting it down.

There's one major problem with the courts not allowing this evidence in court. The sample taken from underneath the victims fingernails points to an unknown male. The state Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled:

that the court should only consider whether the DNA evidence would exclude Swearingen and should not have to “rely on the ramifications of hypothetical matches” to an unknown genetic profile

So we have DNA from someone else underneath the victims fingernails, but it won't be allowed in court. Oh, and by the way, Swearingen is scheduled to be executed on November 16th.

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