U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Grasping at Straws: Texas Rules and Procedures on Appeals, Time Cuts and Aggravated Sentences

NCJ Number
B E Anton; G A Udashen
Date Published
51 pages
This book provides information to help inmates and their families in Texas deal with issues related to the appeal of a felony conviction, sentence commutation, and aggravated sentences and parole eligibility.
A person just convicted after a trial almost automatically considers an appeal. Appeals take a long time, partly because so many are filed. The appellant and his or her family thus become absorbed in a long, expensive process that may only build false hopes. There are 14 supreme judicial districts in Texas, and appeals are assigned to courts in these districts from counties within each respective district. The following steps are involved in the appeals process: notice of appeal and designation of the record, statement of facts, submission of the appeal, decision of the judge, and further review if the conviction is affirmed. An appeal is generally based on a claim of errors at trial. The most common grounds for error in jury cases include pretrial motions, errors in the jury charge or failure to give a requested charge, errors made in admitting evidence, and jury misconduct. The role and responsibilities of the appellant are discussed as well as rules and procedures associated with sentence commutation. The policy of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles governing sentence commutation is stated. The impact of receiving an aggravated offense designation on the time an inmate is required to serve before becoming eligible for parole is also considered. A glossary of relevant terms is provided.


No download available