Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Flood of Habeas Relief

Last week the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals released several cases in which it granted the ever-elusive habeas corpus relief to a Texas applicant.  The per curiam opinions were not designated for publication and were less than 2 pages in length, but here are the bases for the grants:

Ex Parte Richardson (Dallas County) - Ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to timely file notice of appeal.  (Counsel was since disbarred for dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in a different criminal case.)

Ex Parte Oshia (Harris County) - Trial court issued an illegal setence (more harsh than the original sentence) after applicant's community supervision was revoked.

Ex Parte Cephus (Tarrant County) - Ineffective assistance of counsel because counsel failed to advise applicant that he had a right to a jury determination of the deadly weapon issue even though he elected to have the trial court assess his punishment.

Ex Parte Whatley (Montague County) - Court found that applicant's plea of guilty was involuntary because he was incompetent at the time it was entered.

Ex Parte Farrar (Franklin County) - Applicant had never been previously convicted of a family violence assault and therefore the enhancment to a felony conviction was improper.

Ex Parte Barnes (Smith County) - Appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance because counsel
failed to timely notify Applicant that her conviction had been affirmed.

Ex Parte Herrerra (El Paso County) - Guilty plea was involuntary because neither trial counsel nor the trial court advised him of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea.

Not too much there for law nerds to get excited about, but it goes to show that a meritorious claim may receive favor from the Court.