The daughter of a man executed 13 years ago in Tennessee is hoping to prove her father’s innocence through a DNA test, 13 years after his death from lethal injection.
April Alley asked a judge to order the testing of DNA evidence in the case, after a tip came in to the Innocence Project from law enforcement officers detailing a possible alternative perpetrator.
The lethal injection came after Sedley Alley was convicted of the 1985 murder of 19-year-old Marine Lance Cpl Suzanne Collins, who had been out jogging when she was kidnapped, beaten, raped and killed.
Alley confessed to the crime, but later claimed his confession was coerced.
He was put to death in 2006.
Ms Alley is hoping to compel the judge to order the DNA, and has the help of Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck, who received the tip about the possible alternative murderer.
Mr Scheck argued in court that the issue is a matter of justice, and the court could resolve the issue with a DNA test.
“April Alley wants to know the truth. She has the courage to seek the truth. DNA testing can .. provide the truth,” Mr Scheck said.
The evidence they want to test includes a pair of men’s underwear found at the scene of the crime. The pair would not have been tested because DNA tests in the 1980s were still relatively primitive.
Shelby County assistant district attorney Steve Jones has argued that the state cannot go forward with the testing, because state law only allows a person convicted of a crime to require testing.
Mr Jones also argued that the existence of someone else’s DNA would not exonerate Alley, since he was convicted on “a combination of factors that corroborated his confession”.
The Associated Press contributed to this report