We have been privileged to have many authors take part as continuing contributors to Voice for the Defense. Buck Files has done yeoman’s work with his “Federal Corner,” Kathleen Nacozy and Tim Crooks have been steadfast with their “Significant Decisions Report,” and Stephen Gustitis has been wonderful with his “Off the Back” articles.
Recently, I had a Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Young Child case in County A, Texas, which was outside of my home base in Austin, Texas. In the first of the “Sexual Abuse” allegations (as defined by Tex. Penal Code Ann. §21.02) in the indictment, (Exhibit A), it was undisputed that the alleged act was for an offense that occurred wholly in County B.
President Sam Bassett extends special thanks to Robb Fickmann for his assistance in drafting the complaint against McLennan County Justice of the Peace Peterson on behalf of TCDLA’s Judicial Integrity Committee. A host of members posted on the listserve expressing similar feelings of gratitude.
More than forty years ago, United States District Judge William Wayne Justice appointed me to represent a pro se petitioner who was seeking habeas relief in his court. This petitioner had also appeared pro se in a divorce proceeding and had been called to the stand by his wife’s lawyer. While testifying, he admitted to many acts of sexual intercourse with his young daughter. After that case was concluded, the trial judge had a statement of facts prepared and sent it to the local district attorney.
Batson v. Kentucky is again front and center in the United States Supreme Court. On May 26, 2015 the Court granted certiorari in Foster v. Chatman (No. 14-8349, 2015 Term). The case is currently set for argument on November 2, 2015. In Foster, Georgia prosecutors struck all four African-American prospective jurors from the death penalty venire and provided roughly a dozen “race-neutral” reasons for their peremptory strikes.
Keep your mouth shut. Don’t tell anyone else about it. It is part of an old proverb: “Speech is silver and silence is golden. Often the best choice is to say nothing.”
When your clients are the subject of criminal investigations, ethically you should warn them to keep their mouths shut and remain silent.
The TCDLA board of directors met in Dallas on September 12, 2015. Sam Bassett, president, announced the following informational items:
President Announcements: Sam welcomed everyone to the board meeting and stated how excited he is to be here.
Recognitions, Sam Bassett: Sam gave recognition to Robb Fickman (Houston) for all his organization and work for the Declaration of Independence Readings.
The tragic death of Deputy Goforth in Houston has again brought to the forefront the issue of law enforcement’s changing relationship with segments of our society. It is on my mind as I write this column in the days following his funeral, attended and watched by thousands in our state and in our country. It was shocking to learn that this father and husband senselessly lost his life simply for wearing the uniform.
For over 30 years our firm has represented offenders and their families in prison and parole administrative and legal issues. The first version of this article was published in the Voice more than 20 years ago.
Congratulations to Jeff Blackburn of Amarillo for receiving the Champion of Justice award from TCDLA at the TCDLA Innocence 101: Criminal Practice seminar in Austin in August. The award was given for his work in the posthumous exoneration of Tim Cole and the resulting legislation.
On August 7, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the defendant’s conviction and held that, as a matter of apparent first impression, an alert registered by a license plate recognition (LPR) system which a police officer used to scan license plates of nearby cars provided reasonable suspicion of criminal activity of a kind supporting an investigatory stop of a vehicle. United States v. Williams, ___F.3d___, 2015 WL 4666312 (8th Cir. 2015) [Panel: Circuit Judges Gruender, Beam, and Benton (opinion by Gruender)].
Special thanks to our course directors Gary Udashen (Dallas) and Mike Ware (Fort Worth) for the TCDLA Innocence 101: Clinical Practice CLE held in Austin in August. Thanks to their efforts we had 139 attendees.
Waco—home of the Baylor Bears, the Texas Ranger Museum, the Dr. Pepper Museum, and venue to one of the most controversial events in the criminal justice history of Texas. Is another case unfolding that will rival the Branch Davidian debacle?
18 | “Most People Call Me Charlie” - By Mark Stevens
22 | Going to Prison in Texas in 2015, Part 1 - By William T. Habern, David P. O’Neil & Debra Bone
32 | We Need Those Stinking Badges: Courthouse Security for Texas Lawyers 101 - By Chuck Lanehart, Sarah Gunter & Charles Blevins
A question often asked by younger clients is whether they will be able to join the military with a juvenile record. Specifically, they want to know how a juvenile record will affect their chances of enlisting and if they should disclose their record when they try to enlist. The answer is—it depends. It depends on the type of offense and the disposition of the case.
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution provides “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . .” U.S. Const. Amend. V.