Perry makes first public comments since stay of execution for Texas inmate
September 16th, 2011
05:58 PM ET
10 years ago

Perry makes first public comments since stay of execution for Texas inmate

Atlantic, Iowa (CNN) - On Friday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made his first public comments since the U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution of Texas death-row inmate Duane Buck.

The Republican presidential candidate said he is confident in his state's appeals process – and respects the Supreme Court's decision to stay the execution of Buck as it reviews the way a lower court handled the case.

"We have an appeals process in the state. We have a process of justice in the state of Texas that I have full confidence in," Perry told reporters after touring a Coca-Cola bottling plant here in Atlantic, Iowa. "As it goes forward, there are obviously ways to address any concerns."

Among those concerns: whether or not Buck's status as an African-American contributed to his receiving a death sentence. At the time of the trial, a psychologist repeatedly told juries that black or Hispanic defendants were more likely to commit future crimes.

Perry was asked if he thought Buck was unfairly sentenced to death because of racially-tainted testimony.

The governor did not answer directly, instead saying the nation's highest court will weigh in.

"They will have open and appropriate conversations between those lawyers representing Mr. Buck and the state of Texas. And the decision will be made on whether or not there was any problems on the way that case was handled," Perry said. "And at that particular point in time, there'll either be a retrial or the Supreme Court will make the decision that no, things were not in question at all. They're taking the appropriate path, in my opinion."

"Whether or not he is guilty is not the question. Clearly he was guilty of murdering two people in the state of Texas."

The Texas governor was also asked about previous comments from John Cornyn, who is currently a U.S. senator but was Texas attorney general in 2000. Regarding seven death row inmates – including Buck – Cornyn said he believed racially tainted testimony from the psychologist caused them to be unfairly sentenced to death.

Six of the seven inmates saw resentencing trials. Buck did not.

"Well look. John [Cornyn] is the former attorney general. He's a United States senator. But he unilaterally doesn't make decisions in the state of Texas," Perry said.

Saying he respects Cornyn, Perry continued, "I think there have been four of those cases that you make reference to that [Cornyn] talked about earlier. They all went back for a retrial. Every time, the individual was sentenced to their execution for heinous murders in the state of Texas. I won't venture a guess what the Supreme Court will decide on this one."

Filed under: Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Me

    I wonder if the defendant's attorney objected to such inflammatory and prejudicial testimony? If he didn't then he failed in his duty to his client.

    September 16, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. SecedingfromTexas

    Hereis another public comment:
    Trump told reporters that he had just had dinner with "JIM" Perry. Hahahahahahahahahahahah! Gotta luv it, Lyle.

    September 16, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. thomas

    Enron's Favorite State Candidates
    & PACs, 1998 and 2000 Election Cycles
    Recipient Amount Gov.
    George W. Bush
    Gov. Rick Perry
    A.G. John Cornyn

    September 16, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Rumors in Austin say Perry likes the way one of his state chefs serves up his "hot dog"!

    "We have an appeals process in the state. We have a process of justice in the state of Texas that I have full confidence in,"

    Uh, slick Rick, have you forgotten the Willingham investigation where YOU replaced the head of the committee the day BEFORE giving it's verdict because it found that the sentence was based on 20 year arson identifications carried out by a fire chief that had not had skills updated sine 1953? Modern technology, oh wait, that only applies if one of YOUR campaign contributors has been paid to bring it Texass.

    You may have confidence in your "crony capitalism" and "pro life" "christianity" that sentences people to die and then does every thing in his power to prevent the investigating committee from proving that an innocent man may have died because he did not kill his kids by burning down his own house.

    Just another "inconvenient truth" for Pretty Perry!

    September 16, 2011 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. sara

    Everything in Texas is about race and crime. Didn't hear too much about the trash that dragged that black man with his pickup truck when Bush was governor. It just faded away. Whatever happened to that animal anyway? I couldn't miss the followup as I am a news junkie.

    September 16, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. RS, CA

    I am SO sick of society favoring criminals, rather than the majority of folks who follow the rules, do the right thing, respect the law and each other. I'm sorry if SOME fall through the cracks. That's life! - always has been, always will be - live with it– life's not always fair - so get educated, learn a skill, earn a living, stop whining!

    September 16, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |