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Surviving Victim Supports Clemency for Duane Buck

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 7, attorneys for Texas death row inmate Duane Buck will hold a press conference to urge clemency for their client.  Mr. Buck is scheduled for execution on September 15 despite clear and compelling evidence that his race was used to persuade the jury to sentence him to death.  Read the media advisory regarding the press conference below.

Over the weekend, columnist Bob Ray Sanders with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote about the case, (“Not a place for considering a person’s race,” September 3, 2011), and posed these two questions about Buck:

1) Should he have received the death penalty for his crimes?


2) Would he have been sentenced to death had his race not become a major factor in the trial’s punishment phase?

Read the column in its entirety and share your views.

Sign an online petition urging clemency for Duane Buck.

Here is the media advisory from the Texas Defender Service:

Media Advisory:  Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Contact:  Andrea Keilen,

Press Conference on Wednesday at Texas State Capitol Urging Clemency for
Death Row Inmate Facing Execution; Racial testimony used in
African-American’s trial

Surviving Victim will also Speak in Support of Clemency for Duane Buck

On Wednesday at 1 p.m., a press conference will be held at the Texas State
Capitol to urge the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Rick
Perry to intervene and halt the execution of Duane Buck, scheduled for
September 15, 2011. Phyllis Taylor, a surviving victim who has forgiven Mr.
Buck, will join Mr. Buck’s attorneys at the press conference.

During Mr. Buck’s capital murder trial in 1997, prosecution presented
improper racist evidence from a psychologist who testified that the fact
that Mr. Buck was African-American increased the likelihood of his being
dangerous in the future. The jury found that Mr. Buck would be a future
danger and sentenced him to death, after the State urged the jury in its
closing argument to rely on the psychologist’s testimony.

In a highly unusual move, while Mr. Buck’s case was pending on appeal in
2000, then-Attorney General John Cornyn confessed that the State erred by
improperly introducing and relying upon race as a sentencing factor in six
capital cases, including Mr. Buck’s. Mr. Buck is the only one of the six
death row inmates who has not been granted an opportunity to have colorblind
sentencing. While the other death row prisoners were granted new sentencing
trials, Mr. Buck faces execution in a matter of days.

Mr. Buck’s attorneys will be available to discuss the status of litigation.

The clemency petition, which was filed with the Board of Pardons and Paroles
and Governor Perry on August 31, can be accessed at:

What:   Press Conference to Support Clemency for Duane Buck

When:   1:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who:    Phyllis Taylor, surviving victim

Where:  Senate Press Room; 2E.9 Texas State Capitol