Former Texas Governor Mark White Joins Others Calling for a Proper Sentence for Duane Buck, Since the Last One Was a Tad Bit Racist
I'm former Governor Mark White and I do not approve of racism.
Photo by Mackey Torres
During Duane Buck's 1997 hearing for shooting and killing his girlfriend, a psychologist claimed that Buck was more of a danger because he was a black man. He was spared from lethal injection in 2011, because of that claim.
Enter former Texas Governor Mark White, who thinks that the racist claims are pretty messed up.
"I've always had supported the death penalty, but I don't support the death penalty for people who are not properly tried and convicted," White said. "I don't support the death penalty when we have reckless procedures that are going to inevitably see that an innocent person would be executed. We can't have that law in Texas or anywhere else in this country."
White has joined over 100 civil rights leaders, former prosecutors and judges, amongst others, asking that they give Buck a newer and more proper sentencing in the ongoing case (sans the racism).
"There should be no racial overtones to that testimony," White said.
Kathryn Kase, one of Buck's lawyers, believes that Senator John Cornyn needs to own up to his promise of granting a new trial to Buck.
"Attorney General Cornyn, now Senator Cornyn, promised that everyone who had this sort of racial testimony in their trial would get a new trial, and that promise was kept for every other defendant, but Duane Buck," Kase said. "We're here today to say that promise should be kept and the only people that can keep it is the state of Texas."
Buck's lawyers have already filed an appeal with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals hoping to get another sentence for him.
Kase hopes that if they do get the a hearing, it goes differently this time around.
"The jury needs to decide what his sentence should be without any reference to his color," Kase said. "Justice should be color blind here, that's what we want to see happen."
The case has been going on for a long time. All White and group of over 100 want is for the courts to be fair with Buck.
"It's not a guilt or innocence issue," White said, "it's a question of proper sentencing."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.