Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry -- who as Texas governor has overseen the execution of 235 convicted killers -- said Friday that he “respects” the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the execution of Duane Buck, a black man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her male acquaintance in Texas in 1995.
While Buck's lawyers aren't questioning his guilt, they contended his sentence was unfair because of statements made about his race during his trial. His attorneys appealed to both the Supreme Court and Perry to block his impending execution, saying a psychologist testified that black people were more likely to commit violence.
Politico reports Perry expressed support for the Supreme Court decision on Friday, speaking to reporters after touring a Coca-Cola bottling factory in Iowa.
“I won’t venture a guess what the Supreme Court will decide on this one, but it will go forward and justice will be served,” Perry said. "They are taking the appropriate path in my opinion and justice will be served at some point in the future.”
He also defended Texas' appeals process, saying "we have a process of justice in the state of Texas that I have full confidence in."
“We have a clear appeals process that is followed in every case. Whether or not you agree with the appeal or not is your call,” he said. “I have full confidence that people have their full and open right to a jury trial, to an appellate process and to any other appeals that are appropriate. In the state of Texas, we believe in our form of justice, we think it’s appropriate.”
The Supreme Court reprieve came nearly two hours into a six-hour window when Buck could have been taken to the death chamber. The high court said it stopped the punishment so it could further look at the request from Buck's attorneys.