Criminal Appeals Courts (Texas)

Do you have a criminal case going on in the State of Texas? Are you thinking of becoming an appellate judge in future? Well, the Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas may be of Interest to you. It is the court that handles all criminal appeals that have been prosecuted in Texas.

The court holds its settings in the Supreme Court Building, in Austin. The court’s powers and formation are outlined in the constitution of Texas. Some of the things that are described include how the judges are elected into office and their total number, their retirement age, and eligibility. The court has nine judges in total. Out of the nine judges, one is a Presiding Judge who is designated.

The Jurisdiction of the CCA

The CCA handles all criminal cases except for juvenile criminal cases which are considered to be civil cases. The court handles all post-conviction criminal cases and decides whether the defenders can get a second hearing or not. They also choose which cases to handle and which ones not to handle. The only cases they must seat and give a judgment on are capital punishment cases and cases where there has been a denial of bail.

Composition of the CCA

The Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) consists of a presiding judge and eight other judges. They are all elected members of the court, but the Presiding Judge’s seat is designated, and it’s separate. All the nine judges can serve for a term of six years after which elections are held. The elections used to elect the judges are staggered and partisan. Each judge term starts on January 1 and ends on December 31.

Age of the Judges

A person needs to fulfill certain conditions set in the Texas constitution to seek election into the CCA. These conditions include a minimum age of 35 years old. The person also must be a citizen of the United States and Texas as well. That person must have also been practicing law for ten years in Texas. They should also not be 75 years old or older than that. If a person turns to be 75 years old while in office, they are not allowed to serve more than four years of their term. The Constitution allows the Governor, with the approval of the Senate to appoint a judge who will serve the remainder of their term.

If you’re looking for an lawyer who willing to take a case to the Court of Appeals, consider Attorney Mark W. Bennett.

CCA Rulings

There have been many controversial cases, but they have all been resolved after appeals to the CCA. Every decision of the judges sitting to hear an appeal counts. Even when the majority rules against the appeal, a person can seek justice in a Federal court based on the ruling of even one dissenting judge.

A good lawyer is also important when seeking as appeal because the appellate judges are not required to point out any weakness in the defense no matter how obvious. It is therefore in the defendant best interest to seek to have a qualified lawyer to represent them.

Notable Case

Ricky Kerr’s is one of the most controversial cases where a defendant had to seek justice in a federal court to get an appeal. He was represented by a lawyer who acknowledged that he might have poorly represented Kerr. According to the dissenting judge, it was as if he the lawyer was appointed to make sure Kerr got hanged. A federal judge stayed his execution. Kerr later was sentenced to life in prison.

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Categories: Felony Crimes

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