Condemned to Die Because He's Black (NYTimes Op-Ed)
During the presentation of evidence at the penalty phase of Mr. Buck’s trial — when the jury was required to decide between the death penalty and a life sentence — the trial prosecutor elicited testimony from a psychologist for the defense indicating that Mr. Buck’s race made him more likely to be violent in the future.
The prosecutor asked, “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; is that correct?”
“Yes,” the psychologist, Walter Quijano, answered.
Because a finding of future dangerousness is a prerequisite for a death sentence in Texas, the prosecutor then argued in closing that the jury should rely on that race-based expert testimony to find that Mr. Buck would pose a future danger. The jury accepted the prosecutor’s recommendation, and Mr. Buck was sentenced to death."