Upon being convicted of a serious felony, many Texas residents might feel that their futures are out of their controls. When a sentence after a conviction is imposed, the feelings of despair and hopelessness may increase. However, it is important for defendants to remember that they are always due fair treatment.
An example of this can be seen in the case of a man from Houston who was convicted of capital murder roughly 20 years ago. After his conviction, he was sentenced to the death penalty. For many years, he has alleged that his sentencing was unlawfully influenced by comments made by a psychologist during the trial proceedings. The psychologist is said to have indicated that the defendant’s African American race would make him more likely to be dangerous to society than he would be if he was not black.
His case was eventually heard by the United States Supreme Court. The high court ruled that the comments made by the psychologist represented a racial bias that may have unfairly contributed to the death sentence he received. As such, he will have a new sentencing hearing at which life imprisonment is a possibility instead of death.
Defendants in Texas facing serious criminal charges might find it helpful to work with an attorney. This may allow them the opportunity to more fully understand the charges against them and also some of the nuances of the criminal justice system.
Source; The Houston Chronicle, “Supreme Court grants Texas death row inmate Duane Buck new hearing,” Mike Ward, Feb. 22, 2017