Published on: Wednesday, October 4, 2017

An article in the Texarkana Gazette reports that Duane Buck was resentenced to life in prison plus 60 years yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted first degree murder in Houston, Texas.  In February 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that vacated Mr. Buck's death sentence and ordered a new sentencing hearing because his attorney had presented psychological evidence at trial that Mr. Buck's race made it more likely that he would act violently in the future.  In condeming the reference to Mr. Buck's race, Chief Justice John Roberts had this to say in his majority opinion for the Court: "Our law punishes people for what they do, not who they are. Dispensing punishment on the basis of an immutable characteristic flatly contravenes this guiding principle."

Defender Services provides program materials to litiagte race in the federal criminal court, such as Litigating Inside and Outside of the Courtroom: Lessons from Buck v. Davis