Yesterday, June 19, 2017, on the final day of its October 2016 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Davila v. Davis, a Texas death penalty case. The Justices ruled 5-4 against Davila, finding that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to counsel in post-conviction proceedings, let alone effective assistance of counsel. According […]
On Tuesday, January 31, a federal district court in Corpus Christi granted a stay of execution to John Ramirez. Ramirez was scheduled to be executed on February 2, 2017 for the 2004 murder of Pablo Castro.U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos granted the stay based on Ramirez’s claims of ineffective counsel by his previous court-appointed […]
On October 5, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments describing racial bias in the death penalty case of Duane Buck. Duane Buck was condemned to death in 1997, after his own trial attorneys inexplicably introduced testimony and a report from a psychologist, Dr. Walter Quijano, stating that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous […]
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Buck v. Stephens, a Texas death penalty case raising extraordinary issues of racial bias. Duane Buck was condemned to death in 1997 in Harris County after his own trial attorneys inexplicably introduced testimony from a psychologist who stated that Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black.
The case of Duane Buck has cast a national spotlight on race and the Texas death penalty for the past month, for good reason: his death sentence is the unconstitutional product of racial discrimination. He was condemned to death after his own trial attorneys inexplicably introduced testimony from a psychologist who stated that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black. His case, Buck v. Stephens, is now on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.