U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case of Duane Buck Involving Racial Bias

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Duane Buck’s Racial Bias Death Penalty Case from Texas

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Buck v. Stephens, a death penalty case raising extraordinary issues of racial bias. Duane Buck is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit finding that his case was not sufficiently extraordinary to warrant consideration of his claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for knowingly introducing “expert” testimony that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black. Mr. Buck ultimately seeks a new, fair sentencing hearing.

Here is a statement from Mr. Buck’s attorneys:

“Trial counsel’s knowing reliance on false, inflammatory and deeply prejudicial evidence explicitly linking Mr. Buck’s race to his likelihood of future dangerousness is plainly extraordinary.

“Mr. Buck was sentenced to death after his own attorneys introduced an ‘expert’ who told the jury that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black.  The Fifth Circuit’s holding that Mr. Buck’s case was not sufficiently extraordinary to warrant review deepened skepticism of the integrity of the judicial system.  The Supreme Court’s decision to accept Mr. Buck’s appeal is an important step toward restoring public confidence in the integrity of the courts.”

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will correct this egregious error, and that Texas will acknowledge Mr. Buck’s right to a new sentencing hearing free of racial bias. Justice can only be served in this extraordinary case of racial bias by a new sentencing hearing free of inflammatory, inaccurate stereotypes.”

– Christina Swarns, Litigation Director for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.; Kathryn Kase, Executive Director of Texas Defender Service; Kate Black, Staff Attorney, Texas Defender Service.

June 6, 2016

Briefing in Buck v. Stephens

A video about Mr. Buck’s case, A Broken Promise in Texas: Race, the Death Penalty and the Duane Buck Case can be accessed here:

2-minute version: https://youtu.be/-ev67uDm5D4;

10-minute version: https://youtu.be/TzjVcuKKqZY

For additional background on Mr. Buck’s case, please go to: http://bit.ly/1PquEKK.

To speak with attorneys for Mr. Buck, please contact: Laura Burstein, Laura.Burstein@Squirepb.com; 202-626-6868 (o) or 202-669-3411 (c).

###