Recently I had a Federal judge reject my attempts to keep a client on death row from being executed. I was appointed to represent the defendant after he had lost his trial; lost his appeal in state court; and lost his attempt to convince the trial judge to find his case constitutionally flawed pursuant to...Read More
Recently in the media there have been numerous stories about the exoneration of inmates from the Texas prison system. Texas has had more exonerations than any other state and Dallas more exonerations than any other city. Most of these exonerations have come about as a result of the noble efforts of the Texas Innocence Project...Read More
How Do Criminal Attorneys Stand Representing Child Molesters and Mass Murderers? James Holmes, Jeffery Dalmer, Eric Williams; all of these individuals have been represented by criminal defense attorneys. I’m often asked, and I know that many people want to ask but think it impolite to do so, how can I stand to represent people who have committed...Read More
My client was facing a sentence up to life imprisonment for the alleged sexual assault of his granddaughter. Back in 2003, while the granddaughter and her brother and father were living with my client and his wife in Texas, the girl (six years old at the time) had alleged that my client touched her on...Read More
The most common justification I hear for the death penalty is that it deters crime. When I consider the hundreds of death penalty cases with which I am familiar, and the dozen or so which I have worked on personally, I am always puzzled by this position. I ask myself, “Have the people that advocate...Read More
This month the Supreme Court heard arguments with respect to execution by lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Lethal injection has become the standard method of execution in the United States, Nevada being the only exception by relying on the electric chair.
An Attorney’s Journey to Get a Client Free from Death It has been almost six years since a colleague in San Antonio called me to ask if I would handle a death penalty matter. The client, Steve Rodriguez, had killed a woman (Agnes Herden) in the course of a burglary in 1990. He pleaded...Read More
On December 10th the Supreme Court decided two companion cases that essentially hold that the Federal Sentencing guidelines really are just guidelines. In other words the sentencing court, after giving them consideration, is free to disregard them and impose the sentence the court thinks is appropriate in a given case.
Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the rights of detainees in Guantanmo Bay Detention Camp to challenge their continued detention by means of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. To put this issue in perspective consider the following plausible hypothetical.
In almost every criminal case a defendant will be offered a “plea bargain” and, indeed, most criminal cases ultimately do not go to trial. Whether to accept a plea bargain offer depends upon a variety of factors and is almost always dependent upon the facts of the individual case. Nevertheless, generally the two most important...Read More