The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday granted a stay of execution for Duane Buck, hours before the convicted double murderer was scheduled to receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.
Without comment, the justices said that they will review Buck’s appeal to the court related to a psychologist’s testimony during the punishment phase of Buck’s trial that criminals who are African-Americans were more likely to be a danger to society if they were released than others, according to the Associated Press.
Whether or not someone could be a continuing threat to society is one of three questions Texas jurors must consider when deciding on a death sentence.
Buck’s lawyers unsuccessfully had made a similar appeal to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is a Republican candidate for president and an outspoken supporter of the death penalty. During his years in office, 235 people convicted of crimes in Texas have been executed.
Perry’s support for the death penalty gained nationwide attention earlier this month during a Republican presidential candidates debate when the in-studio audience cheered when the debate’s moderator mentioned how many people in Texas have been executed during Perry’s terms as governor.