The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new hearing for Black Texas prison inmate Duane Buck Wednesday after he said his rights were violated when jurors wrongfully received word that “he was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he was Black,” reports The Guardian.
From The Guardian:
The US supreme court on Wednesday ordered a new court hearing for a black Texas prison inmate who claims improper testimony about his race tainted his death sentence. The justices voted 6-2 in favor of the inmate, Duane Buck. Buck had tried for years to get federal courts to look at his claim that his rights had been violated when jurors were told by a defense expert witness that Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black.
Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion that the federal appeals court that heard Buck’s case was wrong to deny him a hearing. “There is a reasonable probability that Buck was sentenced to death in part because of his race,” Roberts said in his opinion. “This is a disturbing departure from the basic premise that our criminal law punishes people for what they do, not who they are.”
…Buck was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and another man in 1995. His case was among six in 2000 that Texas’s then attorney general, John Cornyn, in a news release said needed to be reopened because Quijano’s statements were racially charged. In the other five cases, new punishment hearings were held and each convict again was sentenced to death. Cornyn, a Republican, is now the state’s senior US senator. Buck’s lawyers contended that the attorney general, by then Cornyn’s successor Greg Abbott, broke a promise by contesting his case.
Buck’s lawyers also stressed that race must play no role in a criminal or capital sentence, reports CNN.
SOURCE: The Guardian, CNN
O.J. Simpson Up For Parole, May Be Released From Prison This Year
Black Guard Killed In Delaware Prison Uprising Saved Coworkers’ Lives
Exclusive: Kenneth ‘Supreme’ McGriff’s Life In Prison (PHOTOS)
18 photos Launch gallery
1. Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff was born on September 19th, 1960.
1 of 18
2. He grew up in the Baisley Park housing projects in Queens, New York.
2 of 18
3. McGriff rose to infamy in the 1980s when he gained wealth through crack cocaine distribution.
3 of 18
4. McGriff’s gang, deemed the “Supreme Team,” was based in South Jamaica, Queens, New York.
4 of 18
5. At its peak, the gang had thousands of members.
5 of 18
6. And was bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.
6 of 18
7. The gang’s operations were incredibly complicated, using the Five Percenter Supreme Alphabet and Supreme Mathematic as coded languages to avoid police investigation.
7 of 18
8. In 1987, McGriff saw his first jail time, pleading guilty in a continuing criminal enterprise. He was sentenced to 12 years, but got out only 7 years later on parole.
8 of 18
9. McGriff has been referenced by hip-hop artists such as 50 Cent and Nas.
9 of 18
10. McGriff was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after being convicted of several murder-for-hires.
10 of 18
11. McGriff was introduced and believed in the Nation of Islam sect, the “Five Percenters.”
11 of 18
12. Making friends with hip-hop producer Irv Gotti, McGriff began meeting rappers and urban musicians, often providing them with protection.
12 of 18
13. McGriff produced a film called ‘Crime Partners,’ which starred rappers such as Ja Rule, Snoop Dogg, and Ice-T.
13 of 18
14. 50 Cent’s song “Ghetto Qu’ran” mocked McGriff. 50 has since claimed McGriff is behind the attempt on his life, during which he was shot 9 times.
14 of 18
15. McGriff is currently serving his life sentence at the ADX Florence Prison in Florence, Colorado.
15 of 18
16. McGriff was willing to be sentenced to death in exchange for the ability to testify at his trial.
16 of 18
17. He was never granted that right to testify, and was instead sentenced to life in prison.
17 of 18
18. He has now penned a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a presidential pardon to return to court and testify in his own defense.
18 of 18