The Latest: Judge denies DNA testing sought post-execution
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on attempts to test DNA evidence in a murder 13 years after a Tennessee man was executed for the crime (all times local):
A Memphis judge has ruled that the daughter of a man executed 13 years ago for murder does not have the right to seek DNA testing of the evidence in the case.
April Alley is the daughter of Sedley Alley, executed in 2006 for the 1985 murder of Marine Lance Cpl. Suzanne Collins. In May, April Alley petitioned the court on behalf of her father’s estate to order DNA testing.
Shelby County Judge Paula Skahan ruled against her on Monday.
The move came after investigators in a Missouri murder case contacted the Innocence Project about a possible connection between another suspect and Collins.
Prosecutors have opposed the testing. Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich previously said Sedley Alley’s guilt was proven with absolute certainty.
Alley confessed to the crime but later said his confession was coerced.
Since the early 1990s, 22 death row inmates around the U.S. have been exonerated through DNA evidence. Now, the Innocence Project hopes to go even further and use DNA evidence to exonerate a Tennessee man executed 13 years ago.
Sedley Alley received a lethal injection in 2006 for the July 1985 murder of 19-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Suzanne Collins, who was raped and beaten near the former Memphis Naval Air Station in Millington.
Alley confessed, but later said the confession was coerced.
At a hearing last month, attorneys for daughter April Alley argued she should be allowed to request DNA testing on behalf of her father’s estate.
Her attorneys include Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck, who says investigators outside Tennessee contacted him about an alternative suspect in Collins’ death.
The judge promised to rule Monday.