The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 5-2 today to deny a rehearing for Stacey Johnson, seeking a DNA test that he contends could establish his innocence in the slaying of Carol Heath in Sevier County in 1993.

Johnson got a reprieve from a scheduled execution in 2017.

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The Supreme Court has twice said a DNA test wouldn’t raise a “reasonable probability” Johnson committed the crime.

Justices Jo Hart and Robin Wynne would have granted a rehearing. Wynne said the testing could substantially advance his claim of innocence.


The decision today covers ground similar to that in the original decision, also a 5-2 vote. Scientific testing has advanced since Johnson was convicted. He has admitted having sex with the victim but contends he was in another state when the murder occurred. His says materials gathered in the investigation have not been tested for DNA of others he’s suggested could be suspects.