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Monday, September 5, 2011

Judicial Election 2012

Here's a list of the appeals courts in Texas; the appeals that Carlos Coy has filed are listed under each as the case number. This is a tentative list; I'm not familiar with the judicial system at all, so consider this worth everything you paid for it. If you have the number of an appeal that I don't have, please leave it in the comments or shoot me an E-mail so I can list it here and take a look at it.

Fourth Court of Appeals
04-02-00272-CR denied-2002

First Court of Appeals
01-02-00593-CR denied-2003

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Petition for discretionary review refused-2004
Writ of habeas corpus denied-2007
WR-65,301-01 Habeas Corpus (not an appeal, a request for evidence) granted-2007

Supreme Court of Texas
08-659 petition for Writ of Certiorari denied-2009

I've been writing under the assumption that Coy's appeals have been exhausted, but I'm not sure now. I don't see any record of his case at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which is the next-to-last court of appeals, although the very last, the Supreme Court of Texas, doesn't hear that many cases. The 'Writ of Certiorari' is a request to have the Supreme Court review the information about his case from the lower courts. It also suggests that he's been through the TCCA, but I can't find anything about it. He's been fighting for the right to evidence (Habeas Corpus, which means 'produce the body') since at least 2007.

There’s a judicial election coming up in 2012. Three seats on the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals will be up for grabs, including the top seat, that of Presiding Judge Sharon Keller. Also known as ‘Sharon Killer’. Infamous for some of their controversial rulings, they should be calling it the Texas Court of You are SO Fucking Fucked.

They denied a new trial to a man who confessed only because Juarez police claimed that they would torture his parents if he didn't. They overturned the successful appeal of a man who was tried for rape with no evidence to link him to the crime. After the court continued to fight to uphold the 'finality of conviction', President Bush eventually had to pardon the guy to keep the Texas judicial system from becoming a complete laughingstock. Keller closed the court to the last appeal of a man on Death Row.

All in all, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has gained a reputation as more of a hurdle than a path to justice. Carlos Coy has filed at least one Write of Habeus Corpus to the TCCA, but I can not find a record of an appeal. If he's already been through the TCCA, they can overturn themselves; they've done it before.  He might have one left, but does anyone believe that this court will give fair consideration to a convict's plea for justice?

 When the President of the United States has to step in and fix their shit to avoid national embarassment, how can we trust their judgement? I hope that the only problem here is Keller, and that it can be fixed by electing someone else. A fellow TCCA judge, Larry Meyers, has announced his intention to run against her in next November's election. It appears his campaign has not kicked off yet, but I will be keeping an eye out for information that will tell us how he intends to be different from her.
Every election I have ever voted in, I voted a straight party ticket. I think a lot of us probably do. That needs to stop now. These are the people that decide our future, set us on paths from which there is no turning back, and we barely even know who we're electing. If you believe that the TCCA should exist to give justice when it has been denied, please consider voting in next year's election, and throwing Keller out on her ass. I'm not an expert in how these elections are run, so bear with me as I try to figure out what the process is. If it's possible to send letters of support for a particular case, I will let you know. I'll provide the address, and an outline or example letter. If the time comes, please be willing to get involved.  
I want to let the judges know that we're out here, that we're paying attention. It should not be this damn hard to get a fair hearing.

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