Duane Buck's life has been spared, for now, without Texas Gov. Rick Perry having to sit in the hot seat. Buck, who shot two people to death in 1995, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection yesterday, but the US Supreme Court decided to review his appeal, AP reports. Buck's guilt is not in doubt; his lawyers say he should receive a new sentencing hearing because of racist testimony at his original hearing, where a psychologist told the jury that black people were more likely to reoffend.
"We are relieved that the US Supreme Court recognized the obvious injustice of allowing a defendant's race to factor into sentencing decisions and granted a stay of execution to Duane Buck," one of Buck's attorneys said. "No one should be put to death based on the color of his or her skin. We are confident that the court will agree that our client is entitled to a fair sentencing hearing that is untainted by considerations of his race." Perry, who was out of state yesterday, had been urged to issue a reprieve.