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Buck Letter From Linda Geffin

Buck Letter From Linda Geffin

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Published by Tim Murphy

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Published by: Tim Murphy on Sep 13, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/13/2011

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September
9,2011
Texas
Board
of
Pardonsand
Paroles
8610
ShoalCreek
BoulevardAustin,Texas
78757
Dear
Membersof
the
Board
of
Pardonsand
Paroles,
Governor
Perry,
AttorneyGeneral
Abbott
&
DistrictAttorney
Lykos,
In
1997,I
was
employed
as
an
Assistant
DistrictAttorney
for
Harris
County,
where
I
sat
asthe
second-chair
prosecutor
inthe
State
of
Texas
us.
DuaneBuck,
a
capital
case.Ileft
theHarris
County
District
Attorney's
Office
in
2000.I
amcurrentlythe
division
chief
of
the
Special
Prosecutions
Unitinthe
Office
of
theHarris
CountyAttorney.After
Ileft
the
DistrictAttorney's
Office,
and
while
Mr.Buck'scase
was
instate
post-convictionproceedings,
the
Office
of
the
AttorneyGeneral
recognized
that
the
useofrace
as
afactor
in
capitalsentencing
proceedings
violates
the
constitution
in
acase
styled
Saldano
u.
State.
Specifically,
in
afillingbefore
the
United
States
Supreme
Court,
AttorneyGeneral
Cornynwrote
that
it
is
inappropriate
toallow
race
to
be
considered
as
afactor
in
ourcriminal
justice
system.On
June
5,
2000,
theUnitedStates
SupremeCourtagreed
by
granting,vacating
and
remanding,
as
requested,
in
his
Responseto
the
Petition
for
Writ
of
Certiorari,
in
the
Saldano
case.
In
a
press
release
dated
June
9,
2000,
AttorneyGeneral
Cornynidentified
six
other
cases
in
which
expertwitnesstestimonyused
race
as
afactor
to
determinefuture
dangerousness,
including
Mr.Buck'scase.
He
is
the
only.one
of
the
seven
who
never
receiveda
new
sentencingtrial.When
I
read
about
the
clemency
petitionpending
before
the
Board
of
Pardons
and
Paroles
and
Governor
Perry,
and
about
the
motion
in
federal
court
recognizing
that
the
AttorneyGeneral
had
previously
acknowledged
the
improper
injection
ofrace
inthe
sentencing
hearingin
Mr.Buck'scase,Ifeltcompelledto
step
forward.Mr.
Buck
committed
a
terrible
crime,
and
he
must
be
punished.
Butthe
AttorneyGeneralwas
rightwhen
hesaid
that
"itis
inappropriate
toallow
race
to
beconsidered
as
afactor
in
our
criminal
justice
system."
It
is·regrettable
that
any
race-based
considerations
were
placedbeforeMr.Buck's
jury.
No
individualshould
be
executed
without
being
affordeda
fair
trial,
untainted
byconsiderationsof
race.Inow
join
Phyllis
Taylor,
the
surviving
victim,
in
asking
for
the
intervention
of
the
Board
of
Pardons
and
Paroles,
GovernorRick
Perry,

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