Monday, October 23, 2006

Resource for Lawyers: Wretched analysis of high criminal court cases

Regular readers know I think the Court of Criminal Appeals, by far, is Texas' worst court. But I've never devoted sufficient time to exposing on this blog exactly WHY that court is so egregious, and as a non-attorney never felt qualified to debate the nuance of their decisions on a case by case basis.

So I'm thrilled that PovertyLawyer1 over at the blog The Wretched of the Earth has begun what I think will be a great service - analyzing opinions each week from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' "hand down list." His fist two offerings are here and here. (At the risk of immodesty, PL1 points out in his first post that I encouraged him to undertake the task: I've long admired SCOTUS Blog and wished some attorney[s] would do the same thing for Texas' high criminal court.)

Wretched's first offering examines the case Davis vs. State, another example where the CCA appears determined to expand the concept of harmless error boldly where no American jurist has gone before. The second case analyzed was actually a rare pro-defense ruling. The CCA decided a capital murder defendant suffered from ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to present mitigating evidence that the defedant had suffered a long, signficant, documentable history of childhood sexual abuse.

I think this is a great idea for a blogger to examine the CCA's hand down list each week to explain the most significant cases. Any criminal defense lawyer wanting to keep up with current state of Texas criminal law should check Wretched's promised weekly updates on the subject.

Good blogging from a public defender working on the front lines.

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