Crime

What does race have to do with the death penalty in Texas?

Studies have shown that Texas prosecutors chose to pursue the death penalty more often when a defendant was black than if a defendant was white. And while black Texans might be overrepresented on death row, past investigations have shown they were often underrepresented in jury pools.

Education publisher Pearson talked to The Texas Tribune and explained how race can factor into Texas death penalty cases. Watch the Pearson video above to learn more — or read our related coverage below.

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  • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck, agreeing that his case was prejudiced by an expert trial witness who claimed Buck was more likely to be a future danger because he is black.
  • In multiple last-minute appeals, this 64-year-old death row inmate claimed his sentencing trial in the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend was tainted by racial prejudice.
  • Texas juries sentenced seven men to death in 2018 — all people of color.
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