The Supreme Court last night stayed the execution of Texas’ Duane Buck, a black man convicted of two murders, saying it would consider an appeal into whether race played a role in his sentencing.Buck was convicted of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend Debra Gardner and Kenneth Butler, and severely injuring his step-sister Phyllis Taylor in 1995.
A psychologist, Walter Quijano, testified that Buck was more likely to harm other people because of his skin colour, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was under pressure ot grant a 30-day reprieve to allow further appeals in the case, but hadn’t acted when the Supreme Court issued a stay an hour and a half before Buck was to die.
The case is likely to put the 234 executions Perry has overseen as governor in the spotlight. Nearly two-in-three Americans support capital punishment, Gallup found last year.
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