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The scale of inequality in the american justice system

That Buck committed the murders of ex-girlfriend Debra Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler is seemingly in no doubt. Nor does it seem doubtful that he shot and almost killed his own sister, Phyllis Taylor, during the commission of the murders. In July, 1997 he went to trial.

  • Discredited psychologist Walter Quijano The US Constitution in theory guarantees defendants the right to effective assistance of counsel;
  • Having first been convicted Duane Buck now stood condemned and facing a lethal injection at the notorious Texas Death House;
  • Why would any government with indisputable control over the means of coercion submit itself to the Rule of Law?
  • Ellickson, Order Without Law:

He included as an expert witness one Dr. Walter Quijano, a psychologist with an unfortunate habit of suggesting that African-Americans are statistically more likely to re-offend after already committing violent crime.

That Buck had committed the crime was effectively proven in court, that Quijano testified that he presented a continuing threat to society in a Texas court Texas being a State where being a considered a lasting threat to society is one extra reason to vote for a death sentence rather than life without parole may well have unlocked the Death House door for Duane Buck.

Not forgetting, of course, that he is indeed guilty of two murders and of attempting a third. The DA asked and the jury duly delivered. Having first been convicted Duane Buck now stood condemned and facing a lethal injection at the notorious Texas Death House. Texas being the epicentre of executions in the Western world, his chances of survival were decidedly poor.

  1. Any attempt to eliminate or inflict harm to the demonized is socially legitimized and legally immune. Why would a ruler comply with the law?
  2. He included as an expert witness one Dr.
  3. Although equal rights are recognized in the books, as a symbolic measure to obtain cooperation, governments do not feel constrained to comply with the obligations correlated to these rights on equal terms for all society members. Not when you consider that they mean any kind of law.
  4. Democratic process can expand Rule of Law.

Discredited psychologist Walter Quijano The US Constitution in theory guarantees defendants the right to effective assistance of counsel. This is meant to give you a defense where previously you might have had none. For instance, Louisiana will only appoint lawyers to defend capital cases if they have a minimum of five years experience in practising law.

Not when you consider that they mean any kind of law.

Racial Inequality Within the American Court System

He just uses a needle instead of a switch. So does the State of Texas, with great enthusiasm and frightening regularity. Quijano has since been thoroughly and comprehensively discredited. Others have gone far further. Right to effective assistance of counsel is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment and racial profiling is no longer tolerated in the US courts.

Other Supreme Court rulings bar lawyers from using points of appeal unless they are filed in a timely fashion, which in practise means you could unearth evidence of innocence that, filed too late, would simply be ignored and the appeal dismissed.

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Making the Death House door open considerably wider. The State courts have been no help to Buck, either. She has argued not only in favour of a new sentencing hearing, but also in favour of his not being executed, period. Which, under the circumstances, is not only extraordinarily magnanimous, but also strongly in his favour. As is another of his weighty supporters, former Texas State Governor Mark White who has also spoken out against race being a reasonable criteria in sentencing, especially in capital cases.

And what are his chances?

Two in one: differences in the US justice system for the rich and the poor

The US Supreme Court is currently deliberating on his petition for a hearing and will rule on it at their own convenience.

They can deny it without comment, in which case the Texas Department of Criminal Justice can set a new date of execution. They could be a stalemate as, with the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, there are currently eight Justices instead of the usual nine.

No recommendation, no pardon or commutation.

  1. And that is the first reason why a formalist concept of Rule of Law, such as the one formulated by Raz, receives a broad support from different political perspectives. A human right to be free from poverty.
  2. He just uses a needle instead of a switch. That Buck committed the murders of ex-girlfriend Debra Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler is seemingly in no doubt.
  3. It is extremely valuable for governments in general to count on an efficient tool to guide human behaviour.
  4. Becker, "Crime and Punishment.
  5. So even though you may have a legal system that complies with the several "excellences" related to the formality of law, the lack of a minimum of social and economic equality will inhibit reciprocity, thereby subverting the Rule of Law. And what are his chances?

And the execution chamber door opens wide. The chances of his getting one are very, very slim. Presidents routinely commute sentences in non-capital cases, but usually fight shy of interfering with State justice in death penalty cases to avoid being seen as overbearing and offending both States and their voters.

Racial Inequality Within the American Court System

President Clinton was the last President to personally commute a death sentence. Schick, murderer of an eight-year old girl while deployed in Japan, only had his sentence passed at a military court-martial commuted on the condition that he serve hard labor for life without parole.

The Gregg ruling, incidentally, struck down the death penalty for rape a penalty very often imposed on racist grounds while, ironically, Greg himself avoided execution as a result thereof. And little that seems just.