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Supreme Court Rules in favor of death row inmate with racially charged testimony

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Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 11:02:25-05

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of a death row inmate in Texas whose own lawyers introduced evidence at trial that he was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black.

Duane Buck

Duane Buck

The court ruled that the inmate, Duane Buck, will now be able to go back into a lower court and argue that he should have a new sentencing hearing.

In a 6-2 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion holding that Buck has “demonstrated both ineffective assistance of counsel” and has an “entitlement to relief.”

Roberts sent the case back down to the lower court for further proceedings.

The case comes at a time of racial unrest in the criminal justice system.

It also comes as two justices, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have argued the court should take another look at the constitutionality of the death penalty. They questioned, in part, whether the penalty was being applied arbitrarily throughout the country.