Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort for all criminal matters in the State of Texas and is composed of a Presiding Judge and eight Judges.

The Presiding Judge and eight remaining Judges are elected to "court place positions" in staggered six-year terms by state-wide general election. The court place position has no special significance. The appeal of all cases in which the death penalty has been assessed go directly to the Court of Criminal Appeals from the trial courts. The appeals of all other criminal cases go to one of the fourteen Courts of Appeals in Texas, however, their decisions may also be reviewed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

To stand for election a person must be at least 35 years of age, a United States and Texas citizen, licensed to practice law in Texas, and must have practiced law at least 10 years. When a vacancy arises the Governor of Texas may appoint Judges to the Court of Criminal Appeals, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term until the next general election. Like the Texas Supreme Court, the Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals are currently all members of the Republican Party.

Graphical Guide to the Court System of Texas.
Pamphlet on the Texas Judicial System
Overview of Court System Structure and Jurisdiction
Texas Judicial System Subject-Matter Jurisdiction of the Courts

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