Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cognate-Pleadings Test Applies to all Prosecutions

Murray v. State (Tex.Crim.App.)

In this case, the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the holding of the 14th Court of Appeals (Harris County), that the Cognate-Pleadings test for lesser-included offenses applies to all prosecutions, be they before judge or jury.

What is the Cognate-Pleadings test you ask?
The Cognate-Pleadings approach to lesser-included offenses requires the court to look to the facts and elements as alleged in the charging instrument, and not just to the statutory elements of the offense, to determine whether there exists a lesser-included offense of the greater charged offense. See Hall v. State, 225 S.W.3d 524 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007).