Given all the attention paid to Rick Perry’s “record tally” of executions as Texas Governor, I am surprised the Supreme Court’s decision last week to stay the execution of Duane Edward Buck has not received more attention. From the Houston Chronicle:
Buck was sentenced to die for the July 1995 shooting deaths of his former girlfriend, Debra Gardner, and her friend, Kenneth Butler. Buck also shot his sister, Phyllis Taylor, in the chest at point-blank range, but the woman recovered and later became an advocate for saving his life.
The legal fight for Buck’s life centered on a 2000 assertion by then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn that Buck’s case was among six capital trials that might have been tainted by racial testimony from psychologist Walter Quijano.
The other five killers all received new federal court-ordered punishment hearings in which they again were sentenced to death. But Buck, whose case still was at the state level at the time of Cornyn’s pronouncement, never had his sentencing reconsidered.
Given the stay, I would think that a grant of certiorari is likely.