Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Texas: Duane Buck

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Texas Board of Pardon and Paroles has recommended against clemency for Duane Edward Buck who is about to be executed for murders committed in 1995. The Journal reports Buck "has admitted guilt," but his lawyers claim he should be re-sentenced, "because a psychologist told jurors at the murder trial that because Buck was black, he was likelier to be violent in the future."  Former Texas Attorney General John Cornyn says the psychologist’s testimony was problematic and, in 2001, the state passed a law barring such testimony in future criminal trials. By law, Texas Governor Perry (and Republican presidential candidate) cannot overturn the Board’s recommendation against clemency. But Perry can grant a temporary stay of execution, allowing additional time for the effort to get a new sentencing hearing. See story here.

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