- TX Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions and Cases | FindLaw
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The suspect was convicted, and sentenced to penalties that reflected a Class A terroristic threat conviction.
TX Court of Criminal Appeals Opinions and Cases | FindLaw
Additionally the judgment stated he was convicted of Class A terroristic threats. The suspect appealed, arguing his sentence was illegal as it was beyond the punishment for a Class B offense, and he could only be sentenced for a Class A offense if the jury found his victims to be public servants.
The district attorney admitted the error and asked the appeals court to reform the judgment and sentences to reflect Class B offenses and remand the case for a new punishment hearing, which the court granted. The state prosecuting attorney then filed a motion for a rehearing, arguing the sentence should have been reviewed as a harmless error charge.
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The motion was denied. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas granted review to determine whether the court erred in reforming the judgments to indicate the suspect was convicted for Class B misdemeanors. On appeal, the suspect argued the State waived the right to argue the case should have undergone a harmless error analysis, by failing to raise the issue in earlier proceedings.
The court noted that while normally an issue not brought up at trial is waived, as the state was not the appealing party, it did not have to raise an argument in support of the trial court ruling to preserve the issue.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Additionally, the court noted that while the state attorney took a different position regarding the sentencing than the district attorney, he was permitted to do so. The court stated that the United States Supreme Court previously held that a failure to include an element of a crime is a violation, which does not require an automatic reversal but could be subject to a harm analysis.
Here, the court held that the error in failing to advise the jury they must determine whether the alleged victims were public servants was an error subject to a harm analysis. As such, the court reversed the ruling of the court of appeals and remanded the case. Judge Elsa Alcala ended her tenure critical of the death penalty and often pleading for policy changes from the state Legislature.
- For Court of Criminal Appeals, Presiding Judge: Maria T. (Terri) Jackson.
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- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
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The state put to death 13 men this year. That's more than half the total number of people executed in the entire country: Still, the death row population — both here and nationwide — is at a historic low.
In these down-ballot, low-information races, judges' success often depends on the party leaders at the top of the ballot. Supreme Court ruling.
Texas District Courts
A federal judge has ruled for Texas in a long-running challenge to the state's system of electing judges to its two highest courts. Via the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Gutierrez was sentenced to death in the Brownsville killing of an elderly woman. Miguel Gutierrez Jr. This time, the majority of the justices said Moore has shown he is intellectually disabled.
Jolie McCullough. Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune. Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune.