We are saddened to announce the death of our client and friend, Henry W. “Hank” Skinner, who passed away on Thursday, February 16, from complications following surgery in December to remove a brain tumor.
Mr. Skinner, a native of the mountains of southwest Virginia, was incarcerated in Texas at the time of his death. Mr. Skinner had been convicted and sentenced to death in 1995 in connection with the January 1, 1994, deaths of his then-girlfriend Twila Busby and her two adult sons, Elwin Caler and Randy Busby. Hank’s defense issues press release
Mr. Skinner always staunchly maintained his innocence of any crime. Over the years we served as his counsel, we pressed his legal claims before many courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court which in 2011 issued a landmark decision, Skinner v. Switzer, which guarantees state prisoners the right to seek forensic DNA testing in federal court under the Civil Rights Act. His story was covered in numerous documentaries, including an episode of CNN’s “Death Row Stories” and a film by famed director Werner Herzog, and most recently in the “Wrongfully Convicted” podcast. Mr. Skinner was still challenging his conviction at the time of his death, and we are deeply sorry that he passed away before those proceedings were complete.
Everyone who knew Hank will recall his formidable intellect, his fierce loyalty, his personal warmth, his vivid storytelling, and his wry sense of humor. Nor will anyone forget how he insisted in every setting that those in power honor his rights and respect his dignity.
Hank is survived by his beloved wife Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner, his tireless ally and advocate in his long campaign to clear his name, and by three adult children. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.
Douglas G. Robinson
Robert C. Owen
Maria Cruz Melendez
Attorneys for Henry W. “Hank” Skinner
Hank’s defense issues press release