“You have determined that the sex factor, that a male is more violent than a female because that’s just the way it is, and that the race factor, black, increases the future dangerousness for various complicated reasons,” the prosecutor asked Dr. Quijano. “Is that correct?”Way back in 2000, a review of cases was done in Texas to identify all the cases where this doctor testified that race was a factor in determining future dangerousness. The other five are all off death row. But Duane Buck is unlucky #6 who can't seem to get the state to agree that his sentence should also be vacated. This article doesn't do anything to explain why Buck's case is being treated differently from the other five. Is it just a matter of being from a different county with a different prosecutor? You would think that having both a victim and one of the original prosecutors backing his efforts, Buck would be likelier to succeed in seeking sentencing relief. So I just can't imagine what the hang-up is.
“Yes,” he replied.
If Duane Buck doesn't get relief on this claim and is ultimately executed, we can't have any doubt that racism played a role in it. You can't make claims at a black man's capital sentencing trial about black men posing more of a risk of re-offending than other defendants and then say race wasn't a factor in the decision made at that trial. You can't bring those thoughts into a trial in a nation with our racial history. Hell, you can't pursue the death penalty against a black man in a nation with our racial history without racism playing a role. Can't be done. (Just like Germany won't touch the death penalty with a ten-foot pole because that nation has a rather unfortunate history with its government killing people.)
I can already hear the death penalty apologists saying I'm crazy. It's just one guy. There's no reason to assume the jury considered race in choosing death. They might have had other reasons. Or that it's not a matter of racism that black men commit a disproportionate number of murders, ergo it's not a matter of racism that they get sentenced to death at a disproportionate rate. Here's an idea. There's one sure way we could end the argument. We could just stop the executions. No death penalty, no cries that it's racist. Works for me.