Supreme Court Agrees to Review Duane Buck Case
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Ineffective Assistance Claim in TX Racial Bias Death Penalty Case
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Buck v. Stephens, a death penalty case raising extraordinary issues of racial bias. Duane Buck is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit finding that his case was not sufficiently extraordinary to warrant consideration of his claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for knowingly introducing “expert” testimony that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black. Mr. Buck ultimately seeks a new, fair sentencing hearing.
Below is a statement from Mr. Buck’s attorneys followed by background
“Trial counsel’s knowing reliance on false, inflammatory and deeply prejudicial evidence explicitly linking Mr. Buck’s race to his likelihood of future dangerousness is plainly extraordinary.
“Mr. Buck was sentenced to death after his own attorneys introduced an ‘expert’ who told the jury that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black. The Fifth Circuit’s holding that Mr. Buck’s case was not sufficiently extraordinary to warrant review deepened skepticism of the integrity of the judicial system. The Supreme Court’s decision to accept Mr. Buck’s appeal is an important step toward restoring public confidence in the integrity of the courts.”
“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will correct this egregious error, and that Texas will acknowledge Mr. Buck’s right to a new sentencing hearing free of racial bias. Justice can only be served in this extraordinary case of racial bias by a new sentencing hearing free of inflammatory, inaccurate stereotypes.”
– Christina Swarns, Litigation Director for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.; Kathryn Kase, Executive Director of Texas Defender Service; Kate Black, Staff Attorney, Texas Defender Service.