Call for DNA Testing for Death Row Inmate Larry Swearingen

Barry Scheck is an honored friend and hero. He has issued this call, which I fully support:

Sign-on to our letter to District Attorney Brett Ligon

Larry Swearingen is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on February 27. He has always maintained his innocence of the 1998 murder of a 19-year-old college student and has been requesting DNA testing of crime scene evidence that could exonerate him for years (read more). In 2011, the Texas Legislature specifically amended their DNA testing statute to address shortcomings in the law that had been used to deny Swearingen the ability to test evidence.

With his execution date looming, there is simply no room for doubt and no reason not to test this evidence. Sign-on to our letter to Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon asking ask him to postpone the execution and consent to DNA testing of the evidence in Larry Swearingen’s case.

Please go to the Innocence Project website to fill out and send your letter requesting DNA testing.

Thank you,


26 Responses to Call for DNA Testing for Death Row Inmate Larry Swearingen

  1. Judy75201 says:

    I signed the petition because I believe that DNA testing should be a requirement in every single case, retroactively, if there is DNA available, no exceptions. If this man is innocent, I hope it sets him free. If he is guilty, we can say at least that it is conclusive.

  2. Malisha says:

    It is good that Joe Ariddy was granted a full pardon posthumously in 2011, but here’s my question: Is Sheriff Caroll still alive? If so he should be tried for and (I hope) convicted of first degree murder. If he is dead he should be convicted posthumously and utterly shamed and his name dragged through the mud, which is way too good for him. May his name be first dishonored, disgraced, shamed and convicted and then forgotten.

  3. There are so many horrible cases of people being railroaded by the “injustice” system. But one of the most heartbreaking cases that I have ever come across is the one about Joe Arridy.

  4. Came on earlier today and read this. Then went over there and signed. With the technology available why do they resist finding out the truth? Are they afraid of being wrong? Is their resistance to being proved wrong worth more than a man’s life? Aren’t these judges and prosecutors bothered by the fact that an innocent man may be sent to death?? That makes them no better than sociopathic serial killers themselves… conscience, no empathy, no morals, no character.

    • cielo62 says:

      Grey Winter Sky~ “Aren’t these judges and prosecutors bothered by the fact that an innocent man may be sent to death?? That makes them no better than sociopathic serial killers themselves… conscience, no empathy, no morals, no character.”   And THAT my friend, is the problem here in Texas. NO, they don’t care if an innocent person is killed. NO they have no problem with their concscience. Their party platform is about CONVICTIONS (as in, convicting people for crimes). Nobody said anything about it having to be a JUST conviction. I doubt that it is possible for another state to have a LOWER aggregate IQ as the State of Texas.

  5. Operacarla says:

    Done. Thanks professor!

  6. Dennis says:

    The judges, prosecutors, jurors all deserve to be punished for the crime of false imprisonment. Who can put faith in a system that lets murderers go free and incarcerates innocent people?

    “In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy it is necessary to act outside the law-to pursue…natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it’s an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment.” The Punisher

    Here is a Skelator quote for Fogen:
    “I ache to smash you out of existence! To drive your cursed face from my memories forever”

  7. Xena says:

    I received confirmation. It feels good to do something with hope of justice.

  8. cielo62 says:

    Texas… there is the reason. Slick Rick Perry doesn’t care about justice, nor do most of the DAs in the state. They just want convictions. I signed it, mad I couldn’t include a personal note, like on But i signed it and paced it on my Facebook.

  9. Two sides to a story says:

    I’ve been a supporter of the Innocence Project for at least a year now, and have been signing their petitions during that time. It’s a secure site and a worthy cause that deserves our support. It’s so important to sort out these erroneous convictions. It’s a shame that so many shady convictions that don’t involve DNA also happen – there isn’t always a good recourse for these folks.

    It would seem that Fogen supporters think that he is being railroaded, but his statements and the discovery available at this time don’t seem to support it.

    On that note, back when the Innocence Project had just finished their 200th exoneration (they’re now up to 300), a Fogen supporter told me that that few cases didn’t matter!! What hypocrisy! There are approximately 20,000 more cases to investigate, and at the current rate of exoneration, this will be a HUGE wake-up call to our legal system.

    • Dennis says:

      I’ve been following the Innocence Project since the Amanda Knox trial. I was unaware of their existence until the news article mentioned Dr. Greg Hampikian was assisting the defense. I also learned a lot about crime scene investigation procedures and DNA testing procedures in the process of following that trial. They are doing some fabulous work!

      • Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld started the Innocence Project at the Benjamin Cardozo Law School in New York City in the late 80s/early 90s. They only accept cases where there is biological evidence that can be DNA tested. They have done an outstanding job.

    • Rachael says:

      I bet they matter to the person exonerated!


    • Malisha says:

      Innocence Project does spectacular work! I have been signing their petitions and other death row petitions for years and years and worked closely with a few of the campaigns and I can tell you that these folks will not violate your trust. The only time I ever heard from any of them (except with more information or another petition campaign) was when Texas Moratorium phoned me to ask for a contribution. I said I was not in a position to contribute but supported their work and they thanked me and that was the end of it.

      Don’t worry about these folks; they are up and up, and honest.

  10. kindheart101 says:

    I totally agree with this Professor, but? This is not a secure site? HTTP…..not secure. I am a little afraid to put all my personal information out there, full name, address, phone, etc.?

    • I believe the site is secure. Never thought about that before.

      • kindheart101 says:

        I have tried, numerous times, to sign it with my account name, or as Kindheart. It will not take it.

        Although I’m sure, if someone really wanted to find out one’s identity, they could, I just don’t think I want to give my name, address and phone number to anyone, and everyone that reads that email?

        Is there a way you can write a petition, for all of us to sign, and submit it under your name?

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Kindheart, your personal information doesn’t show up for anyone else to read. And it’s necessary for the organization to have real people with real addresses and contact info because these petitions are passed on to authorities. Otherwise, they’d get all sorts of BS.

    • kindheart101 says:

      @Two sides to a story.

      Understandable, just call me paranoid, LOL. I have signed other petitions, and the site was always a https: With all the hacking that goes on anymore, I tend to question if anyones identity is safe?

      We are speaking about a life………..therefore, I went back and signed it too.

  11. looneydoone says:


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