For those who wonder what it means if the CCA has granted discretionary review:
The court granted review in 140 cases in 2003, 82 at the request of the defendant and 58 at the request of the State. But, it actually reversed the decision of the CofA in 91.3% (53) of the State's cases, but only in 63.4% (52) of those in which the defendant filed the petition. The CofA that got reviewed the least: the Seventh (only 1 case).
Justice in the Texas Panhandle is swift and sure. Those number probably don't differ to a statistically significant degree from granted petitions for review in the Supreme Court. Maybe that's because it takes so long to get to Austin from Amarillo. Not that we dislike Austin.
Posts: 1233 | Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2001
Since you ask: far better than in 2002. Only had 5 cases in which review was granted (but 4 of those at the State's request and all four resulting in reversal of the Tenth Court's decision). The high court also affirmed the Waco court's decision in favor of the State in Sims, 117 S.W.3d 267. Looks to me like Corpus Christi-Edinburg took over top honors for generating review by the high court (in proportion to cases handled by the 13th court): 19 cases. In 10 of the 11 in which review was granted on the State's petition, the CCA reversed the 13th Court. Hurray! In fairness, however, 5 of the 19 were really one case-- Castaneda (which did not involve a criminal prosecution at all, but rather bail bond forfeitures).
Both Corpus and Waco have a number cases in which the CCA has granted review, but not yet rendered a decision. And, of course, Waco has already been reversed on State's petitions this year in Ballard; and Corpus in Wead and Gutierrez.
The court only granted 109 PDRs in 2004: 47 State's and 62 Defendant's. And it wrote a lot fewer opinions on PDRs too: only a total of 45 on Defendant's and 38 on State's. In 2004 a granted Defendant's PDR generated a reversal in the CofA result in only 22 cases(48.8% of the time)! But, the court also approved the CofA result in 7 (18.4%) of the cases in which it granted a State's PDR. The CofA which spawned the fewest of the CCA opinions was Waco (only 2), followed closely by Beaumont and Tyler (3 each). Sorry, Scott, but the 7th court got reviewed 5 times in 2004 (but, that court still holds the best 2-year record by far).
Yes, the opinions coming out of Waco are truly of historical significance*. Almost makes you wonder whether his colleagues ever refer to Tom Gray as "Chief", since they obviously are the rulers of that roost.
*While my reaction to some opinions has been "you have got to be kidding", it is unusual to see a member of the rendering court say so. Watson
[This message was edited by Martin Peterson on 02-24-05 at .]
For those wondering whether it is worthwhile to apply for discretionary review when the CofA fails to recognize the significance of its decision to the jurisprudence of the State: As of 2-9-05 the Court had pending before it 88 cases in which a PDR had been granted (excluding PDRs which duplicate legal issues involving the same defendant, such as 03-0029 and 03-0030). In 32 of those cases (36.4%), the intermediate court opinion was designated "do not publish". And those 32 are scattered throughout the various CofA (although the 1st and 4th courts had 4 each). This might indicate the standards for publication are not always properly applied by the intermediate courts. Fortunately, it also means that the CCA does not give a lot of weight to that determination if a case nevertheless presents a reason for review under Rule 66.3.
[This message was edited by Martin Peterson on 03-02-05 at .]
To complete my 3-year study, I make the following report. In 2005 the CCA granted 59 PDRs filed by defendants (and, of interest, in an additional two cases on its own motion where the decision was adverse to the defendant in the intermediate court). It granted review in 46 cases at the request of the State (one on its own motion where the State's PDR was actually refused).
In deciding cases on discretionary review in 2005, the court affirmed the lower court decision in 32 of the 57 cases in which the defendant had applied for review (56.1% of the time) and reversed the CofA result in 32 of the 40 cases reviewed at the request of the State (80% of the time). The intermediate court that generated the least work for the court in 2005: the 9th (only 2 cases), followed closely by the 7th (3 cases). While the 1st and 14th courts were reviewed in 12 cases each, the court that had the highest percentage of its decisions reviewed was once again the 10th (11 cases- five of which were at the request of the State with all five resulting in reversal of the decision in Waco).
To recap the salient points: (1)If the State succeeds in getting a PDR granted it can expect a change in the result in about 84 of each 100 cases; but a PDR granted at the request of a defendant will achieve the result desired by the petitioner in only 52 of each 100 cases. (2) The court continues to find time to serve in its role as a caretaker of the State's jurisprudence (i.e., write opinions in cases where the correct result was reached in the intermediate court but its reasoning was defective or unclear). (3) The chances of a defendant succeeding before the CCA are quite poor (less than 2%).
To be compared with my entry on March 1, 2005. As of April 6, 2011 the CCA had granted discretionary review in 65 cases, but not yet issued an opinion. In 34 (52.3%) of the cases, review was granted even though the opinion of the lower court was not designated for publication. In one of those (Adames), review was granted on the Court's own motion. My argument has been that, unless a case met the requirements for memorandum status under TRAP 47.4, it should be designated for publication and that any case in which PDR is granted involves an "important" question of law. But, the intermediate courts seem more prone to try to "bury" their decisions. For example, of the eight PDRs granted arising from the 5th Court of Appeals, all involved opinions not designated for publication. So did five of the six coming from the 10th Court and four of eight coming from the 13th Court.
Thanks for that breakdown, very interesting! The Fifth is very bad about publishing. I've heard that because published opinions have to be circulated to all justices, it's very unwieldy for them to publish a lot with 13 justices. Makes sense, but I wish they'd publish a few more.
Posts: 1114 | Location: Waxahachie | Registered: December 09, 2004