Posted on September 7, 2011

Texas Set to Execute Man Because of His Race

Sam Taxy, Care 2, September 3, 2011

Sadly, executions in Texas are no rare occurrence. Rick Perry, the current Republican governor and presidential hopeful, has presided over more executions than any governor in the modern history of execution. One impending execution, though, is making headlines, because the man set to be executed may have been sentenced to die explicitly because he is a black man.

No one doubts that Duane Edward Buck killed his ex-girlfriend and her friend in July of 1995; there is no reasonable doubt that he is a murderer. After his guilt was determined, though, the prosecution called a psychology “expert” during the sentencing phase who testified that because Buck is black he is more prone to violence–and should therefore be executed. The jury then sentenced him to death.

It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to see the problem–obviously any “evidence” like this should have been inadmissible, and it likely influenced the jury. Then state Attorney General (and current Republican US Senator) John Cornyn actually petitioned the US Supreme Court to retry this case and five others, in which experts had testified that ethnic minorities were more likely to continue to commit crimes. {snip}

At this point, the other five defendants have been granted new trials, but Buck has not. {snip}

So basically, Duane Edward Buck’s last chance at getting a fair trial is now up to the governor with more blood on his hands than any other governor in recent history. {snip} As the presidential campaign heats up, though, all eyes are on Perry to see if he will grant Buck his Constitutional right to a fair trial, where race is not a factor. {snip}