Paul womack for judge court criminal appeals texas

Democratic and Republican Joint Primary: March 12, Contested Races.

Dissed robes | Dallas Observer

He has extensive experience Steve Mansfield Old Hollywood Tales. Another e-mail was from Steve in regard to the recent column on Elizabeth Taylor All Wrapped Up.

From biopics to end-of-day thrillers, a look at the films you'll be standing in line for this Christmas. Naked City. A Pakistani national was The Honorable Charlie Baird. With the election of Keller, and one-term Judge Stephen Mansfield a notorious legal novice who, during his judicial tenure, In response to S. Nightmare Scenarios for Austin's Possible End. Public Notice: Schools and Environment. Earlier this week, Mayor Steve Adler noted Austin's growing economic segregation, and declared it After a Fashion.

Stephen is hitting the holiday-party circuit with a vengeance and a few hotties on his arm. I related that I am rarely mistaken for He rode to victory with other Republicans in George W. Bush's gubernatorial defeat of incumbent Ann Richards.

David Bridges, Presiding Judge for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

I have two words: Steve Mansfield. Less than a month after being sworn in, Mansfield was in the news again. An unknown person filed a complaint that Mansfield was mistreating his three Pomeranians. During his working hours, he kept them inside his little car, which was parked inside a Capitol underground garage. Mansfield put food, water, and dog toys in the car for his pets and walked them around the Capitol grounds during his lunch break.

A Humane Society investigator did not file charges, although he recommended Mansfield leave the dogs at home. Even though Mansfield was exonerated, the canine caper reinforced his reputation as a weirdo. Six months later the State Bar of Texas issued an unprecedented public reprimand against Mansfield for lying during the election.

Today Mansfield makes petty excuses and wild analogies to justify what he did. I thought that was unfair. Mansfield attributes his problems to sloppiness. I acted before I thought. I certainly wasn't intending to mislead anybody.

As Mansfield views his world, the legal and political establishment continue to hound him and keep him from rising from his own ashes. He was turned away from a Republican Party luncheon for statewide elected officials and has yet to garner a speaking invitation to seminars hosted by the State Bar or defense attorney groups. I'm still shunned, and I don't know what I can do about that," he says.


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The court has seen eccentrics before. Retired Judge Sam Houston Clinton used to drive an old, beat-up Ford Mustang and wore jeans that had holes in the knees to work. Clinton, who is retired in Austin and laments that he has trouble remembering things these days, says that he may have been an eccentric, but that "my eccentricities didn't carry on to the kinds of things that Mansfield's done. The cops took his picture and cited him for criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

UT had given Mansfield the tickets as a gift. Just as he falls short of dropping to his knees about his lies during the campaign, he makes disingenuous excuses related to the ticket-scalping affair.


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He emphasizes that the crime is, in his eyes, victimless. He says there are no signs banning ticket selling, and the tickets themselves don't mention scalping. Little did I know there was this unknown rule about it. But he did know, which makes his justification for his conduct that much more insidious.

The reprimand by the Commission on Judicial Conduct states a UT police officer told Mansfield that selling UT football tickets on campus property was prohibited and issued him a written criminal trespass warning. The judge was arrested only after a second officer discovered Mansfield doing exactly what he had been warned not to do a few minutes earlier. I can see how it kind of looks tacky. Even something as simple as Mansfield announcing whether he would run for re-election has been full of quirks.

On July 19 he told Texas Lawyer he was running for re-election in part to answer threats in an anonymous letter sent to his Houston home. The letter, dated June 30, warned Mansfield to "go away quietly and start a solo practice as an ambulance chaser" rather than further embarrass the Republican Party and the legal community, according to a copy Mansfield provided the Dallas Observer.

The letter also posed this question: "Do you really believe your marrying a black woman will provide a positive thing? They had planned to be married in May but decided in late October not to wait, Mansfield says. One day after telling Texas Lawyer he was running, Mansfield announced he wasn't because he didn't want his past failings rehashed in a negative campaign. He cited the same anonymous letter as a factor in the decision.

Two months later Mansfield changed his mind yet again. He also worries that giving up his seat could shift the prosecutor-friendly majority that, in his own weird way, he helped forge.

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It must be quite satisfying these days for McCormick to be the one applying the wounds. The longest-serving member of the current court by a dozen years, McCormick plans to end a year tenure by retiring next year. Although he has presided over the court since , it had long been McCormick's ox getting gored. He played dissenter for years. Although McCormick would never characterize it this way, he is now exacting his revenge.

Instead of playing heretic, the former Democrat who switched parties in October now leads the majority of conformist judges that routinely sides with the state. Like his most loyal peons, Mansfield and Keller, he says the current majority has simply shifted a left-leaning court to the moderate center. We are going to look at what is being attacked in light of what transpired in the trial and what harm it caused the accused. McCormick has gone from outcast to bell cow because of the court's unprecedented turnover.

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He is the only holdover from the court. Former Judge Charles Campbell, who lost to Mansfield in , says the problem with the Court of Criminal Appeals -- and the court system in general -- isn't philosophy, but inexperience. What Campbell is saying in a diplomatic way is that the court isn't as scholarly as it used to be.

Meyers, the judge who doesn't mind straying from the majority, also chooses words carefully to give his assessment of the current court. In he became the first Republican ever elected to the court. He disagrees with McCormick, Keller, and Mansfield that the previous court was agenda-driven in favor of the defense. To seize control of the court, McCormick has had to ally with Mansfield, whom he calls a "very intelligent person," and Keller, who like Mansfield came to the court without judicial experience.

The three often are joined in the majority by Judge Sue Holland, whom criminal defense lawyers characterize as wanting between the ears, and first-year Judge Michael Keasler, a former Dallas County district court judge who is wet behind the ears. They also count on Judge Paul Womack, widely hailed as the court intellectual but one who cannot move beyond his bias as a former prosecutor.

She worked eight years for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office before being elected in McCormick was executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association before he was elected to the court in As Keller worked in the appellate section of the district attorney's office, she grew unhappy with what she viewed as a defense-oriented agenda of the court.

She says she saw the court adopt new rules and unfairly apply them retroactively to favor the defense. It struck her that the court's rulings had no sound basis in constitutional, statutory, or case law but rather reflected the individual biases of the judges. For those reasons, she opted to run in Basically she faulted the court for doing exactly what criminal defense lawyers grouse she is doing now in favor of the state.

The irony is not lost on her. The difference is that "I'm right and they aren't," she says with a laugh. What Texas did before was the odd thing. Keller's campaign in left little doubt as to what she wanted to accomplish as a judge. An ad showed hands behind jail bars and proudly proclaimed that person wouldn't vote for Sharon Keller, but you could. Yet she says hers was not a pro-prosecutor agenda.

2011 Conference on Criminal Appeals

Keller plans to run next year to succeed McCormick as presiding judge, a mostly administrative chief justice position. Price, who gets criticized for spending most of his time in Dallas instead of Austin, did not respond to requests for an interview. She views cases only in terms of victims.