Federal Court halts execution of a convict in Texas
A U.S. Federal Court, on Thursday, blocked the execution of a black American convicted in a double murder case, in Texas 16 years ago. The execution was suspended after the convicts’s attorney argued that his client’s sentence is unjust due to a racial question asked to him during trial.
A Federal Court declared that they would review the appeal of 48 year old Duane Buck, convicted in a double murder case and simultaneously spared him from being injected with lethal syringe.
Out of two appeals registered - both correlated to a psychologist's testamony that black people relatively commit more violence – the Federal Court only granted the one and rejected the other.
Buck shot his ex-girlfriend and a man in her apartment to death in July, 1995. Buck’s attorneys are demanding a fresh sentence hearing not because they doubt his guilt, but for the reason that jury was unduly influenced.
Along with the Supreme Court, Buck’s lawyers also appealed Texas Gov. Rick Perry to halt his execution on grounds of unjust testimonials of a psychologist which said black people are more likely to commit crimes.
Former Texas Attorney General, John Cornyn, who also reviewed five other execution cases in 2000, which were reopened and resentenced, said Buck's case was different as it revolved around racial reference.
Republican Governor, a pro capital punishment
Texas Gov. Rick Perry who favors capital punishment is a Republican hopeful of presidential nomination; and is therefore closely scrutinized by political analysts. In his 11 years tenure, 235 convicted killers in Texas have been sentenced to capital punishment.
Applauding the recent ruling staying Buck's execution, Kate Black, one of Buck's lawyers, commented, "No one should be put to death based on the color of his or her skin. We are confident that the court will agree that our client is entitled to a fair sentencing hearing that is untainted by considerations of his race."