» What happened: In 1995, Buck was convicted of double-murder in Houston, Texas, and sentenced to death. Buck’s guilt is not being disputed; however, during the sentencing phase, a psychologist testified that black criminals are more likely than other races to pose a threat to the public if released. Buck’s lawyers contest that this testimony—which was denounced in 2000 by then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn—played a role in Buck’s sentence, and asked Governor Rick Perry and the district attorney to grant Buck a retrial. Perry and the DA refused the request, but the US Supreme Court intervened today, issuing a stay in his execution just four hours before his execution was set to take place. The court has yet to rule on a request for a resentencing.
Rick Perry’s Execution problem: Though it’s beginning to look like an asset in a deep-red GOP primary process, the brouhaha over Rick Perry’s stewardship of the Texas death penalty continues – four more inmates are slated to die over the next eight days. In one case, a man named Duane Buck who shot and killed two people was subject to prejudicial testimony when a psychologist claimed his race (Buck is black) increased the likelihood of future dangerous acts. Another, Steven Woods, is to be executed for a murder that an accomplice has since claimed he carried out. Whatever your political stripe, these issues demand intense scrutiny from a responsible society (as this exemplary article illustrates, the odds that Texas has executed an innocent person seem gallingly high). source