Tribpedia: Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals

Tribpedia

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the state's highest criminal court. Located in Austin, it consists of eight Judges and a Presiding Judge who are elected by Texas voters to staggered six-year terms. In 2000, Sharon Keller was elected presiding judge of the court.

The court hears all appeals of death penalty cases as well as criminal cases ...

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Judge Agrees to Release Murderer "Bernie" Backed by Austin Filmmaker

Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.
Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede exits the Panola County Court building with his attorney Jodi Cole after his hearing on Feb. 5, 2014 in Carthage. His attorney filed new evidence that could affect his punishment term. He has been serving time since August of 1997 for the murder of Marjorie Nugent.

Nearly two decades after Bernie Tiede shot 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent and tucked her body in a deep freezer, a judge has released him on bond. His release comes with several conditions, one of which involves living in the Austin garage apartment of the filmmaker who made him famous, Richard Linklater.  

Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.
Death row inmate Larry Swearingen during an interview at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Melissa Trotter. He says he is innocent and that she was killed while he was already in jail for other offenses.

Court Reverses DNA Testing Decision in Swearingen Case

UPDATED: The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s decision to allow further DNA testing in the case of death row inmate Larry Swearingen, sending his case back to a district court.

Megan Winfrey, 25, points at photos of her daughter Danielle Hammond, 7, in her mobile home in Coldspring, Texas, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Megan Winfrey was released from prison after being acquitted of murder earlier this year. The court said that the dog-sniff evidence used to secure her conviction was insufficient.
Megan Winfrey, 25, points at photos of her daughter Danielle Hammond, 7, in her mobile home in Coldspring, Texas, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Megan Winfrey was released from prison after being acquitted of murder earlier this year. The court said that the dog-sniff evidence used to secure her conviction was insufficient.

Out of Prison, Winfrey Struggles Despite Acquittal

Megan Winfrey spent six years — nearly all of the 25-year-old's adult life — behind bars before she was acquitted of murder. She faces the colossal challenge of starting her life without compensation for the years she lost in prison.

After Drug Lab Scandal, Court Reverses Convictions

The Court of Criminal Appeals continued to reverse more convictions of drug offenders on Wednesday after a former employee with a DPS crime laboratory in Houston may have fabricated the results of thousands of drug tests.

Ben Spencer, on the left, at the Coffield Prison Unit during a February 2013 interview. Right, Andrew Wattley, the son of Spencer's lawyer, Cheryl Wattley, demonstrates the dim lighting in which witnesses said they identified Spencer in 1987.
Ben Spencer, on the left, at the Coffield Prison Unit during a February 2013 interview. Right, Andrew Wattley, the son of Spencer's lawyer, Cheryl Wattley, demonstrates the dim lighting in which witnesses said they identified Spencer in 1987.

Years After Innocence Finding, Inmate Remains in Prison

A Dallas County judge in 2008 found Ben Spencer innocent of the 1987 robbery and murder for which he is serving a life sentence. The state's highest court disagreed, though, and this month he will mark 26 years behind bars.

In 1981, Max Soffar was sentenced to death for the murder of three people at a Houston bowling alley. Soffar, who has spent three decades on death row, says his confessions were coerced. Prosecutors say that the case against him is solid, and police officers deny accusations of coercion.
In 1981, Max Soffar was sentenced to death for the murder of three people at a Houston bowling alley. Soffar, who has spent three decades on death row, says his confessions were coerced. Prosecutors say that the case against him is solid, and police officers deny accusations of coercion.

Inmate's Case Adds to Debate on Recorded Interrogations

Death row inmate Max Soffar says his 1980 murder confession was coerced. As his lawyers say his case highlights a broader debate about false confessions, police and prosecutors say he told them details only the killer would know. 

Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys, John Raley of the Houston law firm Raley & Bowick, and Nina Morrison of the New York-based Innocence Project. Morton was officially exonerated Dec. 19, 2011 after spending nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder.
Michael Morton stands in a Williamson County courtroom with his attorneys, John Raley of the Houston law firm Raley & Bowick, and Nina Morrison of the New York-based Innocence Project. Morton was officially exonerated Dec. 19, 2011 after spending nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder.

Texas Among Top 3 States in Total Exonerations

Researchers at two law schools Monday released an unprecedented listing of all the exoneration cases from the last 23 years. Only two states had more exonerations than Texas, according to the report.

John Bradley, Williamson County District Attorney in Georgetown, TX Friday November 11, 2011. Bradley is responsible for prosecuting felony criminal offenses that are committed in Williamson County.
John Bradley, Williamson County District Attorney in Georgetown, TX Friday November 11, 2011. Bradley is responsible for prosecuting felony criminal offenses that are committed in Williamson County.

State Bar Dismisses Bradley Misconduct Grievance

The State Bar of Texas has dismissed a grievance filed against Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley in the  case of Michael Morton, whose wrongful conviction for murder was reversed last year.