Former Texas Governor: Killer Needs New Hearing

Mar 20, 2013

Former Texas Gov. Mark White has joined supporters of a convicted Houston killer who contend the prisoner's death sentence unfairly was based on race and that he deserves a new punishment hearing.

White said Wednesday a "fundamental injustice" was reached when a Harris County jury decided Duane Buck should die for killing his ex-girlfriend and a man at her Houston apartment in July 1995.

A psychologist testifying for the defense at Buck's 1997 trial said black people were more likely to be violent in prison. Appeals attorneys have argued it was improper to inject race into the sentencing decision.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is considering Buck's case again.

Harris County District Attorney's office spokeswoman Sara Marie Kinney says prosecutors are awaiting its ruling and will "act accordingly."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.