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 decided at the 14 mid-level appellate courts in the state.
According to the court's website, the court also has sole authority in Texas to grant writ of habeas corpus to a person who has been convicted of a felony.
The Court of Criminal Appeals also "promulgate rules of evidence for the trials of criminal cases, promulgate rules of appellate procedure for criminal cases, and administer public funds that are appropriated for the education of the judges and lawyers of Texas."