The use of race-based testimony in the capital sentencing of Duane Buck is a clear violation of his Constitutional right to a fair and unbiased trial. No one should be sentenced to death based on the kind of racially discriminatory testimony that tainted Mr. Buck’s trial, as Texas NAACP president Gary Bledsoe persuasively argues.
As a retired state appellate justice, it is hard for me to understand what interest the state of Texas is protecting in resisting the call for a new sentencing hearing. The state could easily provide Mr. Buck with a new hearing, as it did in the cases of the other men sentenced to death based on similar testimony from the same witness.
The state has wasted much judicial and prosecutorial time and effort in its costly attempt to deny Mr. Buck a new sentencing hearing. It should have agreed to a new hearing when Mr. Buck (along with the others) first became entitled to a new sentencing hearing free from racial considerations.