The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal of a Texas inmate who was delivered to death row after an expert testified that he was likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black, reports the Huffington Post.
Duane Buck was tried and convicted of murder on charges that he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and another man in 1995, the report says.
From the HuffPo:
To sentence Buck to death, the jury needed to conclusively find that he posed a future danger to society. The jurors heard testimony from a defense expert who offered several statistical factors that he said could affect a person’s “future dangerousness.”
Among these factors — which included a person’s criminal record and substance abuse history — was the person’s race. When called to the stand to elaborate on this point, the expert said, “It’s a sad commentary that minorities, Hispanics and black people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.”
Later, when asked by the prosecution to confirm whether “the race factor, black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons,” the expert simply answered, “Yes.”
Buck had already eaten his final meal Monday when he learned that his execution had been stayed. “God is worthy to be praised. God’s mercy triumphs over judgment, and I feel good,” Buck said, according to the Texas Tribune.