Phyllis Taylor is a surviving victim of Duane Buck, and she's written a letter to the editor in today's Houston Chronicle.
Regarding "Racial pattern in death penalty" (Page A1, Sunday), during Duane Buck's trial, a psychologist told the jury he was more likely to be a future danger because he was black. I am the surviving victim of Duane's crime.
As a Christian, I have forgiven Duane for his actions. My faith in God has given me the strength to fight the cycle of violence and to be compassionate, merciful and respect all life.
Duane himself has expressed deep remorse for his actions and has spent his prison time reflecting and deepening his religious faith. Although I believe Duane deserves punishment, I also believe that he has a right to a fair sentence not based on his race.
For that reason, I, along with 60 elected officials, civil rights leaders, legal professionals, former prosecutors, faith leaders and concerned citizens, have signed a letter to District Attorney Patricia Lykos asking her to ensure that Duane has a fair sentencing hearing free from consideration of his race. I pray that her office finds the courage to do the right thing.
You can read the complete letter signed by more than 60 community leaders, calling on Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos to take positive action in the case; coverage of the letter is at the link.
Earlier coverage of Duane Buck's case begins at the link.