Tribpedia: Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals

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.

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.

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.

Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, right, and Sheriff Jim Boutwell speak with reporters.
Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson, right, and Sheriff Jim Boutwell speak with reporters.

Michael Morton's Conviction Comes to Define Anderson

Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson faces a court of inquiry, starting Monday, that will determine whether he should face charges over a wrongful murder conviction.

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.