Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Report: Racial Bias Prevalent When TX Man Sentenced to Death

Play

Thursday, March 14, 2013   

AUSTIN, Texas - Advocates for a Texas man on death row filed a petition on Wednesday seeking a new sentencing hearing, pointing to just-released research on racial bias when his execution was ordered. The analysis looked at some 500 cases in Harris County around the time of Duane Buck's sentencing. It found the death penalty was much more likely for blacks, according to Christina Swarns with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

"For African American defendants like Mr. Buck, the Harris County District Attorney's office was three times more likely to seek death than for similarly situated white offenders, and Harris County juries were twice as likely to impose the death sentences for offenders like Mr. Buck than they were for similarly situated white offenders," she said.

The petition cites a promise to Buck made more than a decade ago. His attorney, Kate Black, says the promise was made because the prosecution elicited race-based testimony at several sentencings, Buck's included.

"In 2000, then (Texas) Attorney General John Cornyn looked at cases in which the expert who testified at Mr. Buck's trial testified in a number of other trials and found that there was Constitutional error in seven cases," Black said. "In six of the cases, those individuals received new sentencing hearings. Mr. Buck is now the only person who has not received a new sentencing hearing."

Harris County District Attorney spokeswoman Sara Kinney noted that current District Attorney Mike Anderson has been in office for only three months and said Buck can seek the legal remedies available to him.

"Mike has given Mr. Buck an opportunity to have his case presented again to the Criminal Court of Appeals here in Texas," she said, "but they have done that before and the Criminal Court of Appeals agreed with the United States Supreme Court that race was not a factor in the sentencing."

Kinney also noted that under the current process, the district attorney reviews each possible death penalty case without knowing the race of the accused.

Buck was convicted in 1997 of killing his former girlfriend and another man. A decision on the petition is expected within the next couple of months. If it is denied, prosecutors have said they will seek to have an execution date scheduled.

More information is available at http://bit.ly/Z0fmjP.






get more stories like this via email

In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

 

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