Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Court of Criminal Appeals races too important to be this crappy

A reader emails to ask for an update to this Grits post from 2004 about the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the need for the current crop of judges to be ousted in the next election. The reader writes:
Now the election you mentioned is upon us.

"CCA Chief Justice Sharon Keller , along with Justices Barbara Hervey and Charles Holcomb are up for re-election in 2006."

I don't know about elsewhere - but there has been almost NO mention of judicial seats up for election in the Houston newspaper (the Chronicle has a monopoly) or by our local TV stations. What are your thoughts on the candidates?
Here's how I responded:
I'm afraid the Democrats didn't really field any decent candidates, sad to say. There's one guy on the ballot against Judge Keller, J.R. Molina, but I understand he's spent little money and is considered a non-starter in legal circles (a fourth-hand analysis - I haven't researched him). A pretty good indication, though, is that he's not even showing up for newspaper editorial board meetings.

The others don't even have D opponents, just libertarians. Really a disappointment. I'm mad at the Dems, basically, for not fielding viable candidates for these seats. In the current environment they might have won.
Jim Hightower once said that if God had intended for people to vote he'd have given them candidates. That certainly sums up the field in this sorry set of races. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is arguably the worst court in America - how is it that the Dems ran NOBODY against them?

Republican primary voters had a chance to replace Holcomb with retiring Austin state Rep. Terry Keel, but declined - personally I think that'd have been a big improvement. But we're stuck with the ones we've got, I'm afraid, probably for a good long while.

It's a friggin national embarassment.


Anonymous said...

can't agree with you more about the TXCRIMAPP in Austin, especially with the likes of Charles Holcomb of Alto, TX sitting on the bench until retirement.
Good ol' Charlie Boy Holcomb has mistaking left out some factual tidbits from his State Bar profile about his "last big case in Alto, TX" in which he convicted an innocent man.

Justice Charles Holcomb's state bar profile, especially the part where he discusses "his last big case in Alto" from 1992. Charles Holcomb, as District Attorney, accepted monies from the widow of murdered business owner in Alto, as reported by KTRE and the Lufkin News. Of course the widow and her lover were never questioned; Holcomb gives his version of events to the State Bar in an attempt to rewrite history.

Holcomb's state bar profile:

Holcomb succeeded in convincing a hand-picked Cherokee County jury to convict an innocent man, Terry Watkins of Nacogdoches, who was the victim's CPA. Terry Watkins was released 5 years into his life sentence. It was shown that the now Judge Charles Holcomb, along with "the sheriff deputy first on the scene" as Holcomb recalls [actually a Cherokee County Constable who married the victim's wife hours not months after the murder] and the widow all shared in the $800K double indemity policy. They all live happily ever after, splitting a murdered man's estate.

This would be what the DEMS could have run against, however, his political machine would have targeted any valid candidate under the radar with a smear campaign.

Good going with the expose/.

Unknown said...

The Texas CCA has been snubbing the US Supreme Court. One example would be Saldano v State where there is a Confession of Error by the State.

We have a case with confession of error by the state in that they did not file a reply brief and subsequently valuable testimony of the Prosecution admitting they could produce a material witness is excluded. Many of the docs are located at the link below:


Let's see what they do with this pro se appeal for justice.

Unknown said...

And here is a more complete Comity of Errors