Tribpedia: Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals

Prison Guard's Convicted Killer Wins Another Execution Stay

Robert Pruett, 33, was sentenced to death in 2002 for the murder of correctional officer Daniel Nagle. Pruett says he was framed by corrupt guards and inmates while the prison employee union says chronic understaffing led to Nagle's murder.
Robert Pruett, 33, was sentenced to death in 2002 for the murder of correctional officer Daniel Nagle. Pruett says he was framed by corrupt guards and inmates while the prison employee union says chronic understaffing led to Nagle's murder.

Robert Lynn Pruett, convicted in the 1999 stabbing death of a state correctional officer, has won another stay of execution from a Court of Criminal Appeals judge. His lethal injection was set for August 23.

State District Judge Mary Lou Keel (l) and state District Judge Ray Wheless
State District Judge Mary Lou Keel (l) and state District Judge Ray Wheless

Two Contentious GOP Runoffs for Top Criminal Court

One candidate shares a name with a much more famous Republican. Another is accused of being a Democrat in disguise. A third has repeatedly pledged to take a criminal law certification test, which he’s already failed at least once.

Democrat Lawrence "Larry" Meyers (top left) will face the winner of the Republican primary for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2. The GOP candidates are Mary Lou Keel (top right), Chris Oldner (bottom left) and Ray Wheless (bottom right).
Democrat Lawrence "Larry" Meyers (top left) will face the winner of the Republican primary for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2. The GOP candidates are Mary Lou Keel (top right), Chris Oldner (bottom left) and Ray Wheless (bottom right).

Court of Criminal Appeals Candidates Emphasize Experience

Although the Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest criminal court in the state — and it deals with a number of hot-button issues including the death penalty — its nine judges don’t attract much attention. That can make campaigning for a seat on the court difficult.

Michael Morton at the Texas Capitol in 2013.
Michael Morton at the Texas Capitol in 2013.

House Gives Early OK to Expanding DNA Testing

The Texas House on Monday gave early approval to expanding DNA testing in criminal cases, an effort to prevent the incarceration of innocent Texans like Michael Morton, who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Attorney David Dow.
Attorney David Dow.

Lawyer's One-Year Banishment Leads to Showdown

When the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals banished a prominent death row attorney this year, it set in motion an interesting showdown not only with the lawyer, David Dow, but one with its own glossier sibling, the Texas Supreme Court. 

Detainees are moved from location to location within the Travis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin, Texas, Monday, June 24, 2013.
Detainees are moved from location to location within the Travis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin, Texas, Monday, June 24, 2013.

CCA Offers Guidance to Courts Trying Teens as Adults

The state's highest criminal court on Wednesday ruled that a Houston teen should not have been tried as an adult and spelled out better guidance for courts to consider before transferring youth defendants into the adult court system.

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers is shown in his office in 2013.
Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers is shown in his office in 2013.

Criminal Appeals Court Judge Files Suit Over Voter ID

While a federal judge in Corpus Christi mulls whether the state's requirement to show photo ID to cast a ballot violates the Voting Rights Act, a judge on the highest criminal appeals court in Texas has sued the state over its voter ID law.

 

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.

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

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. The filmmaker Richard Linklater will house Tiede in his Austin garage apartment.

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.