Death Penalty In Texas Case Study

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RUNNING HEAD: Executions pg. 1 Inmate Executions COR 120_191 Mia Lombardi Tiffin University RUNNING HEAD: Executions pg. 2 The question of the constitutionality of the sentencing of an inmate on Death Row in Texas is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court and found in favor of defendant Duane Buck. The basis of the appeal and review is on whether the defendant 's sentencing was based on racially discriminatory testimony given by a psychologist during his trial. This paper will focus on the United States Supreme Court case Buck vs. Stevens and the constitutional…show more content…
The aforementioned case brings about an interesting and sobering question about racial discrimination and bias and its role in the courtroom. In this instance, the defendant Duane Buck was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, and her friend in front of their young children. During the cases, sentencing hearing the defendant called upon a psychologist (Quijano) who stated, under oath that “It’s a sad commentary that minorities, Hispanics, and black people, are overrepresented in the criminal justice system”. The prosecutor followed that by asking “The race factor, black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons — is that correct?” To which Quijano responded, “yes”. With the bar for execution being that the defendant needed to be shown to be a danger to society the testimony of the psychologist stating that a person 's race is a deciding factor in predicting future violent acts clearly brings the question of race into the supreme court. The appeal states “the latent association of African Americans with violence continues to distort perceptions of reality and result in racially biased assessments—and the risk of such bias is especially acute in death penalty proceedings. The Constitution, however, forbids racial stereotypes from affecting the administration of justice, expressly

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