Texas Death Penalty Two-Step

Texas FlagOne step forward, one step back.  Usually, the U.S. Supreme Court has been the one to scrutinize the shenanigans of Texas capital punishment, and to step in when local courts go too far.  But yesterday was opposite day.  It was the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that did the right thing in staying an execution, and the U.S. Supreme Court that refused to intervene despite an obvious and disturbing injustice.

In the Supreme Court case, Buck v. Thaler, Duane Buck was sentenced to die by a jury that heard an “expert” – Dr. Walter Quijano – testify that African Americans are more inclined to commit crimes and be a danger to others.  (Buck is African American and you have to be considered a “future danger” to get a death sentence in Texas.)