WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a Texas death row inmate who won a last-minute reprieve from the high court in September.
The justices on Monday turned away the appeal of Duane Buck, who wanted them to consider whether race played an improper role in his sentencing.
Buck, who is black, was sentenced to death for the fatal shootings of his ex-girlfriend and a man in her apartment in July 1995. His attorneys contend Buck deserves a new sentencing hearing because of a psychologist's testimony that black people were more likely to commit violence.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he respected the Supreme Court's stay in September at a campaign stop in Iowa for his Republican presidential campaign:
"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."
Five other Texas death row inmates received new punishment hearings because of racially charged statements made during the sentencing phase. Each convict again was sentenced to die.
Perry said in a September Republican debate that he's never lost sleep over an execution during his governorship where he has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history. "But in the state of Texas, if you come into our state and you kill one of our children, you kill a police officer, you're involved with another crime and you kill one of our citizens, you will face the ultimate justice in the state of Texas, and that is, you will be executed," he said.