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Federal appeals court rejects condemned Texas inmate's appeal that race unfairly used at trial

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HOUSTON — A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Texas death row inmate whose supporters contend was sentenced unfairly because of his race.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday refused arguments from 52-year-old Duane Buck that the legal help he received at his trial and in early stages of his appeals was deficient.

Buck was condemned for the July 1995 slaying of his ex-girlfriend and a man at her Houston apartment.

During the 1997 trial punishment phase, a psychologist testifying for the defense said black people were more likely to commit violence. Advocates for Buck, who is black, say that unfairly influenced the jury.

Buck's attorneys said Thursday they'll ask the appeals court to reconsider the case or go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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