Many of Texas’s most troubling death penalty cases are rooted in a corrosive system of racism fostered by predictions of future dangerousness, a unique facet of our state’s capital punishment statute.
In a court hearing in Harris County on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Duane Buck pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder, including the shooting of his stepsister, in a deal that exchanged the death penalty for a life sentence plus two 60-year terms. He will be removed from Texas death row, where he has spent […]
Tonight, January 26, 2017, Terry Edwards is scheduled to be put to death for the 2002 murders of Tommy Walker and Mickell Goodwin in Dallas County. His May 2016 execution date was withdrawn to allow time for new attorney assignments, after Edwards told a Dallas court that his attorney had abandoned him. Edwards current legal team has […]
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a bi-partisan coalition of 40 prominent Latino organizations, has endorsed abolition of the death penalty. According to Juan Cartagena, co-chair of the NHLA Civil Rights committee and president of LatinoJustice, “The racialized aspects of the imposition of the death penalty in the United States could not just be overlooked, and that became the unifying piece.”
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.
Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of Texas death sentenced prisoner, Duane Buck. Mr. Buck is seeking a new, fair sentencing hearing, free of racial bias. At his capital sentencing, Mr. Buck’s trial attorneys presented an expert who testified that Mr. Buck would be more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black.
Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle, both African American, are scheduled to be executed in the next two weeks for murders they committed as 18-year-old youths. Their cases exemplify the arbitrariness of the death penalty, as the U.S. Supreme Court has banned this punishment for juvenile offenders under the age of 18. Ray Jasper is scheduled […]
Today, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Duane Buck’s appeal for a new, fair sentencing hearing free from racial bias. With today’s decision, Texas has once again reneged on the clear and unequivocal promise made by former Texas Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) John Cornyn that Mr. Buck would not face execution based on […]