(Houston, TX) // Today, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear Duane Buck’s appeal of his death penalty sentence handed down in 1997. Mr. Buck was condemned to death after his own trial attorneys introduced testimony and a report from a psychologist stating that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black.
Senator Ellis offers the following response:
“I am encouraged to see the U.S. Supreme Court take up Duane Buck’s case,” said Senator Ellis. “The people of Texas deserve a justice system based on the core principles of equal justice under the law that is free from racial prejudice and discrimination – particularly when it involves the ultimate punishment.”
Ellis continued: “There is no doubt that racist ‘expert’ testimony was involved in sentencing Buck to death. I hope the Supreme Court will correct this egregious and indefensible error and grant a new sentencing hearing free of racial bias. That said, Harris County can fix this problem now by simply agreeing to a new sentencing hearing.”
On May 9, Senator Ellis joined with 31 other Texas legislators and sent a letter urging Harris County to agree to a sentencing hearing for Buck. That letter can be found here.