The United States Supreme Court has granted a last-minute reprieve to a Texas man who had been scheduled to be executed.
The Supreme Court issued a stay of execution Thursday evening for Duane Buck. Buck’s lawyers argued the 48-year-old had been unfairly sentenced because a psychologist testified during the punishment hearing that black men are more likely to be a “future danger.”
Buck was convicted of shooting to death two people in 1995, and wounding a third. His lawyers are not arguing he is innocent, but they say the sentencing hearing was tainted by the racially charged testimony.
Texas state attorneys have said Buck is one of six death row inmates whose sentencing hearings included inappropriate remarks about race. In all cases — except for Buck’s — new sentencing hearings were granted.
The case has received extra attention this week, because Texas’s governor, Rick Perry has emerged as a front-runner to be the Republican president candidate next year.
Lawyers for Buck had also appealed for Perry to grant a 30-day reprieve on the execution.