A conviction can understandably feel like the final stop on a dead end road. What some in Texas may not know is that there is an appeals process that can help a defendant convicted on state crime charges seek a new trial. One man was recently granted the right to a new trial by the Texas court of appeals.
In 2007, the state expanded the Castle Doctrine — also known as the stand your ground law — to include the right to use necessary deadly force while defending oneself. Several years later in Feb. 2012, two men were locked into an argument concerning how loud one of the men was playing his music. That argument escalated, prompting the defendant to dial 911. He told the dispatcher that he was afraid for his life and believed that he was going to be killed before shooting the other man.
He was later convicted for murder and has been behind bars ever since. However, the appeals court stated that the jury in his case received unclear instructions, which may have skewed the man’s outcome. Since the jury may not have been able to complete their job in a clear and concise manner, the appeals court determined that he had the right to a new trial.
This man surely already understands the severity of a conviction on state crime charges for murder and is likely pleased by his second shot in court. Just as a previous conviction is never an indication of guilt on any new charges, a new trial is not a guarantee for a more favorable outcome. As such, those in Texas who are preparing to face their charges in a new trial may find it most beneficial to prepare a solid foundation for their defense.
Source: mercurynews.com, “Texas ‘stand your ground’ trial was unfair, court rules“, Michael Graczyk, Dec. 19, 2014