Psychologist testified that black people are more likely to commit crimes.
Yesterday, the Supremes stayed the execution of Duane Buck, on the grounds that the jury at his sentencing hearing was told Buck was a danger to the public because he is black:
Duane Buck, an inmate on Texas’s death row for the past 16 years, has been spared the lethal injection after the US supreme court stayed his execution on the grounds that the jury at his sentencing hearing was told he was a danger to the public because he is black.
The fact it took the highest court in the nation to prevent the judicial killing of a prisoner in such controversial circumstances will put the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, further under the spotlight. He was earlier approached by lawyers of Buck and exhorted to use his power to put a 30-day reprieve on the execution to give time for all parties to look at his case, but Perry did not act.
From Mother Jones:
A Texas inmate sentenced to death—in a racially charged case that now-Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said was inappropriately decided—has petitioned Gov. Rick Perry and his state parole board for clemency, giving the GOP presidential candidate two days to decide whether to commute the sentence or grant a temporary stay of execution. Last week, one of the Harris County prosecutors who helped secure Buck’s conviction wrote a letter to Perry urging him to grant a retrial. In 10 years as governor, Perry has presided over 234 executions, more than any other governor in modern history; only once has he granted clemency in a case where the Supreme Court hasn’t already mandated it. Now, just as he steps onto the national stage, Perry will have to make what looks like a tough call—with GOP primary voters watching.
The inmate, Duane Edward Buck, is set to be executed by lethal injection on September 15 for murdering two people at the home of his ex-girlfriend in 1995. The issue at hand isn’t Buck’s innocence, but the means by which his death sentence was obtained. Prosecutors firmly established Buck’s guilt, but to secure a capital punishment conviction in Texas they needed to prove “future dangerousness”—that is, provide compelling evidence that Buck posed a serious threat to society if he were ever to walk free. They did so in part with the testimony of a psychologist, Dr. Walter Quijano, who testified that Buck’s race (he’s African American) made him more likely to commit crimes in the future. (Quijano answered in the affirmative to the question of whether “the race factor, [being] black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons.”)
“Various complicated reasons”? Surely, you jest.
As the Moore/Maher debate rages on for its third day, it is not hard to see the connection between “I voted for the black guy”/”I wish President Obama was more Suge Knight and less Wayne Brady” and “being black increases the future dangerousness.”
To not understand the racism in Moore and Maher’s statements is to be willfully ignorant.
As for Rick “The Executioner” Perry, hopefully his nutbag supporters will have one less execution to cheer.
Please don’t forget about Troy Davis. His clemency hearing is on Monday.
[cross-posted at Balloon Juice]