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How a Texas death penalty case got to the US Supreme Court

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It adds that if the court agrees to hear the case, the stay would remain in effect until the court issues its final judgment.

On Wednesday, a panel of the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the same argument in Buck’s appeal to that court. The panel said that Buck’s latest appeal “fails to demonstrate a substantial showing of the deprivation of a constitutional right."

Buck was convicted of the double murder of his former girlfriend, Debra Gardner, and Kenneth Butler in July 1995. Ms. Gardner and Buck had broken up a week earlier. After an argument, Buck returned to Gardner’s house with a shotgun and rifle. Gardner’s two children watched Buck kill their mother.

In addition to the two victims, Buck’s stepsister, Phyllis Taylor, was also at the house. He pressed the muzzle of the rifle to her chest and pulled the trigger. She fell to the floor but survived.

Ms. Taylor has since forgiven Buck and has joined efforts to block his execution.

At the center of Buck’s appeal is the testimony of Dr. Walter Quijano, a child psychologist, who appeared at the trial as an expert witness to testify about Buck’s future dangerousness. Dr. Quijano told the jury that Buck was unlikely to commit future acts of violence or pose a future danger to society if he remained incarcerated.

Quijano was called by Buck’s lawyers to make that point to jury. It was part of a defense strategy designed to convince the jury to reject a death sentence.

On cross-examination, a prosecutor asked Quijano about his findings in a written report suggesting a correlation between sex and race and future dangerousness.

“Q: 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?”

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