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Buck v. Davis
United States Supreme Court
137 S. Ct. 759, 197 L. Ed. 2d 1 (2017)
Duane Buck (defendant) was convicted of murder. Under Texas law, Buck could only be sentenced to death if the jury found Buck was likely to commit acts of violence in the future. Buck’s attorney called a psychologist that testified Buck would probably not be violent in the future but that he was more likely to act violently in the future because he was Black. The jury sentenced Buck to death. Buck appealed to a United States district court, arguing that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel because his attorney introduced evidence that Buck’s race made him more likely to commit violent acts in the future. The district court found that the attorney’s representation fell outside the bounds of competence. The government appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which reversed. Buck appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which granted cert.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)
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