The Supreme Court next term will review whether Virginia’s legislative districts were racially gerrymandered and whether an inmate’s long wait on death row is unconstitutional.
The court announced it will hear a third case in which an African American was sentenced to death after an expert testified that black people were more likely to commit violence.
A three-judge panel has ruled against those who challenged Virginia’s legislative redistricting plan. The Supreme Court earlier this term upheld a challenge of the commonwealth’s congressional districts.
Federal judges have redrawn those districts in a way that provides a chance for a second African American to win a seat in Congress.
The court also announced it would hear the challenge from Bobby J. Moore. His lawyers contend that he should not be executed because of his intellectual disability, and that his 35 years on death row violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
The court also accepted the case of Duane Buck. He is challenging his death sentence in Texas saying his lawyer was incompetent.
“By any measure, Duane Buck’s death sentence is extraordinary,” his new lawyers said in a brief to the Supreme Court. “At sentencing, his trial attorney presented ‘bizarre and objectionable’ testimony from a ‘defense expert’ that Mr. Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black.”
The cases will be heard in the term that begins next October.