skip to main content

Friday, June 2, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

New Filings in "Racially Biased" TX Execution Case

play audio
Play

Wednesday, September 7, 2011   

AUSTIN, Texas - Attorneys for a Texas man scheduled for execution in eight days are asking a federal judge to order a new sentencing trial, contending that Duane Buck's 1997 sentencing was unconstitutional.

Buck's was one of seven death-penalty cases that then-Attorney General John Cornyn wanted reviewed for what he called an "egregious error": An expert witness told juries that certain races were more likely to be dangerous in the future. While the other six eventually received new trials, Buck, who is African-American, "slipped through the procedural cracks," according to Andrea Keilen, executive director of the Texas Defender Service.

"The bottom line is that his trial was tainted by this racist evidence. So we're asking that he have a fair opportunity, in front of a jury that's not biased by this sort of thing, to argue for his life."

She says the Buck case highlights how the death penalty is sometimes applied unfairly, even after the question of guilt or innocence has been settled.

Buck shot and killed Debra Gardner and Kenneth Butler in 1995, and injured Phyllis Taylor, who now says she has forgiven him and wants his life spared. Keilen says allowing race to factor into the sentencing violated both the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the Constitution.

"It's something that should not be controversial. It's something that should be obvious to everyone, both at the official level and the public at large, that this can't be tolerated when someone's life is on the line."

Buck's lawyers also have asked current Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Gov. Rick Perry to intervene. So far, Keilen says, everyone who could postpone the Sept. 15 execution has remained silent on the matter.

"Whether or not anyone intervenes - or even makes a decision until at the last minute - we just don't know."

Perry has allowed 235 executions during his 10 years as governor. He has granted clemency only once, not counting capital cases in which the Supreme Court intervened.

The clemency petition for Buck is online at scribd.com.


get more stories like this via email

Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 23 to be eligible to vote in the general election on Nov. 7. (Vesperstock/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

A 2019 report from the New York State Comptroller's Office found almost 85% of green jobs were in increased demand. A 2022 report found there are 35,700 workers in New Jersey's green economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021