New Video Highlights Racial Discrimination in Texas Death Penalty

The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. released a new video today highlighting the racial discrimination in the Texas death penalty system as evidenced by the case of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck.  Mr. Buck was sentenced to death in Harris County (Houston), Texas, in 1997 after the prosecutor elicited testimony from a  psychologist indicating that Mr. Buck was likely to be more dangerous in the future because he is black.

Three years after Mr. Buck’s trial, then Texas Attorney General and now U.S. Senator John Cornyn identified six cases, including Mr. Buck’s, in which the state relied on testimony linking race to future dangerousness to secure a death sentence. The Attorney General supported new sentencing hearings for all six defendants, and five of them received new hearings. However, the State of Texas has not granted Mr. Buck a new hearing and is now pursuing his execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court  intervened before Mr. Buck’s scheduled September 2011 execution with two Justices agreeing that “our criminal justice system should not tolerate” a death sentence “marred by racial overtones.”

Over 50,000 people have signed a petition asking that Texas officials grant Mr. Buck a new sentencing hearing.  Please sign this petition now.

Picture from North Dallas Gazette

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