Category: Appeals

  • Never Argue Angry

    I’ve got a case against a likely-soon-to-be-former member of the Smith County, Texas District Attorney’s Office in which I’m challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s revenge-porn statute, section 21.16(b) of the Texas Penal Code. It is one of several such appeals I have pending. I’ve had oral argument in the Waco Court of Appeals (not recorded) […]

  • Sterner Days for Texas Free-Speech Law

    Situation excellent: On Wednesday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the Beaumont Court of Appeals in Leax v. State. When the Court of Criminal Appeals granted discretionary review on Leax, I thought it would be the culmination of almost four years of fighting that began with this post after I realized that section 33.021 of the […]

  • Foundations and Empire

    Atlanta public radio had a story on Jason Clark’s and my triumph in the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday. They reached out to neither Jason nor me, but to a “Hollie Manheimer, executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. This “Georgia First Amendment Foundation” was nowhere to be seen when Jason and the Client and […]

  • 2016.037: Before You Plead that Online-Solicitation Case …

    Regular readers know that for nearly three years, since right after killing the dirty-talk portion of Texas’s Online Solicitation of a Minor statute, I’ve been going after the balance of that statute, which appears at first to forbid only actual solicitation (which is unprotected speech), but on further reading explicitly criminalizes protected fantasy by eliminating […]

  • Texas Padilla Retroactivity News: Good and Weird

    First the good: State v. Golding, out of the First Court of Appeals today, is an appeal from the granting of a Padilla writ by the best damn judge in the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, our friend Larry Standley. Judge Standley showed yet again that he is not afraid to grant habeas relief, and […]

  • Melissa Martin Wins in the Court of Criminal Appeals

    The Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s form charging instrument in “weenie waggling” indecent exposure cases has, for time immemorial, read: [Defendant], hereafter styled the Defendant, heretofore on or about [Date], did then and there unlawfully expose his GENITALS to [Cop] with intent to arouse and gratify the sexual desire of THE DEFENDANT, and the Defendant […]

  • Jurisprudential Retardation: Rodriguez-Parra

    In August the Fifth Circuit decided U.S. v. Rodriguez-Parra, an illegal-reentry case in which Mr. Rodriguez argued that his fully-probated five-year sentence for marijuana trafficking should not have been used under section 2L1.2(b)(1)(B) to increase his offense level for illegal reentry by 12 points. The court found that Mr. Rodriguez should indeed not have suffered […]

  • Today’s Houston Criminal Law News

    This, an appeal arising out of a Houston case is, as far as I can tell, the first time ever that Judge Sharon Keller has reversed a case to a defendant’s benefit. Bailiff uses taser on man accused of photographing witness. Johnson was watching a trial in state District Judge Ruben Guerrero’s court, officials said, […]

  • Federal Convictions Reversed

    From Alex Bunin, Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of New York, comes “Federal Convictions Reversed,” this collection (pdf) of summaries of appellate cases reversing federal convictions (not sentences). An invaluable resource to the federal criminal-defense lawyer, but that’s to be expected — the various public defenders’ offices are still and likely always will […]

  • New Judges and Reversal Rates

    It will be interesting to see the changes in the next few years. With eight courts being led by judges on a “learning curve,” watch their dockets increase. Watch the appellate courts reverse decisions, the tax dollars wasted and the criminals who are set free. Last week I discussed the first part of this chicken-littling […]