Tribpedia: Court Of Criminal Appeals

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the state's highest criminal court. It hears all appeals of death penalty cases as well as criminal cases decided at the 14 mid-level appellate courts in the state.

The court has eight justices and one presiding justice who are elected to six-year terms.

Woman Fighting 1993 Murder Conviction Gets a Key Victory

A judge has ruled that a West Texas woman convicted of setting her uncle on fire is innocent of murder, basing his decision on new analysis of evidence presented at her 1993 trial.  Sonia Cacy has been on parole since 1998. Her case automatically heads to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Texas Death Row inmate Miguel Angel Paredes.
Texas Death Row inmate Miguel Angel Paredes.

Court Suspends Death Row Inmate's Lawyer Over Late Filing

The Court of Criminal Appeals has suspended a criminal defense lawyer, arguing that he filed motions to stop executions too late. The move is part of a ongoing feud in Texas between such lawyers and judges who rule on their claims. 

News App: Expanding the Ethics Explorer

We've expanded the officials in our Ethics Explorer to include the judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the members of the State Board of Education. We've also updated our existing analysis on members of the Legislature.

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.

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.

Michael Morton hearing on February 10, 2012 at the Williamson Co. Courthouse.
Michael Morton hearing on February 10, 2012 at the Williamson Co. Courthouse.

Rusty Hardin Picked for Prosecutor in Morton Case

A Houston lawyer with a long list of high profile clients has been tapped to be the prosecutor in the court of inquiry into possible misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1987.

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.