The NAACP released the following statement in response to the decision by the Texas Criminal Appeals Court to deny Duane Buck a new sentencing hearing, despite the fact that an expert witness testified that race makes a person more likely to commit future dangerous crimes and therefore should be considered in sentencing.Â Mr. Buck was sentenced to the death penalty.
From Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe:
“I am disappointed in the decision because I cannot understand how under any circumstance a sentence can stand when the convicting jury had received evidence using the defendant’s race a factor to justify a death sentence,â€ said Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe.Â â€œI worked with Attorney General Cornyn years ago to address this problem and it is as wrong today as it was back then.”
From Interim President and CEO of the NAACP Lorraine C. Miller:
â€œToday, my home state of Texas effectively condoned racial discrimination in the courtroom,â€ said Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. â€œThis is a disheartening decision as it allows racial bias to seep into a justice system that is supposed to be fair and equitable for all.â€
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACPâ€™s work and our five â€œGame Changerâ€ issue areas here.