“As Perry prepares for his presidential run, he’s showing no signs of doubts. It’s not just his debate answer. Next week, the state is set to execute my client, Duane Buck. At Buck’s trial, the prosecutor urged the jury to sentence him to death on the basis that because Buck was black, he would be dangerous in the future. Earlier this summer, I had a client executed whose lawyer neglected to raise any issues during the very appellate process Perry lauded during Wednesday’s debate as a safeguard against mistakes. Two years ago, I had a client executed after prosecutors had removed all the blacks from the jury. One of my intellectually disabled clients was executed because his previous lawyer neglected to inform the court of the inmate’s IQ score. Another client was executed because the court of appeals refused to stay open past 5 p.m. so we could file a last-minute appeal. I don’t know of any definition of fair that could be applied to these cases.
Despite Perry’s certainty, and his characterization of a broken and racist regime as fair, the people of Texas seem to have developed a different view. Twenty years ago, there were 35 or sometimes 40 new death sentences a year. Last year there were nine. The year before that there were eight. The very people who have to decide whether someone should live or die seem to know there is no such thing as certainty. The bad news for Perry is that those same people vote for president.”