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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:35 AM

Inmate ordered retried in '80 'waiting ever since'

Source: Yahoo /AP

GATESVILLE, Texas (AP) — Jerry Hartfield was still a young man when an uncle visited him in prison to tell him that his murder conviction had been overturned and he would get a new trial.

Not long afterward, he was moved off of death row.

"A sergeant told me to pack my stuff and I wouldn't return. I've been waiting ever since for that new trial," Hartfield, now 56, said during a recent interview at the prison near Gatesville where he's serving life for the 1976 robbery and killing of a Bay City bus station worker. He says he's innocent.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield's murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, and on March 15, 1983 — 11 days after the court's second rejection — then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield's sentence to life in prison.

At that point, with Hartfield off death row and back in the general prison population, the case became dormant.


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/inmate-ordered-retried-80-waiting-ever-since-192257674.html



Truly disgraceful.

Please note, my anger here is not directed towards actual citizens of Texas, but rather the dubious concept of "Texas Justice." Because I am almost 100% had his death sentence never been overturned, the State of Texas would have executed him long, long ago.

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Reply Inmate ordered retried in '80 'waiting ever since' (Original post)
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2013 OP
unblock Jan 2013 #1
leftynyc Jan 2013 #2
Festivito Jan 2013 #3
HelenWheels Jan 2013 #4
udbcrzy2 Jan 2013 #5
aggiesal Jan 2013 #6
Wilms Jan 2013 #7
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #8
quadrature Jan 2013 #9
olddad56 Jan 2013 #10

Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:38 AM

1. seems like an easy release under the 6th amendment.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:45 AM

2. Fucking Texas

It's said how unsurprised I am at where this has occurred. I guess we should be glad they didn't execute him.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:57 AM

3. The Governor commuted a non-sentence to a sentence of life in prison?

The sentence was overturned.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:00 PM

4. Stay out of Texas

Especially if you're a female.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:24 PM

5. Still guilty

He's still convicted of murder, but the sentence was commuted to life instead of death. Wasn't his appeals to receive a new sentencing not a new trial? Governor commuted the death sentence to life. I didn't think he was claiming innocence in his previous appeals. He murdered and raped a lady with an ice pick.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:53 PM

6. Here's how I read the following:

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield's murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, . . .

The Tx. Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction, the prisoner should have been released at that time.

The state wanted the Tx. Court of Appeals to re-examine overturning the murder conviction, but the Court wouldn't.

So the Gov. of Texas made up his own conviction and sentence.

Call the ACLU and sue the crap out of the State for 32 years of involuntary confinement.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:33 PM

7. From the ABA Journal

Hartfield is currently represented by Kenneth Hawk II, who told AP the case is a “one-in-a-million” situation. In October, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of Hartfield’s habeas petition because he had failed to exhaust state remedies.

The Texas court had ruled in 1980 that the state had violated Hartfield’s constitutional rights by striking a juror for cause because of her reservations about the death penalty, the 5th Circuit opinion (PDF) said. The determination affected only the sentence, but state law at the time required a new trial, according to the 5th Circuit.

Though the 5th Circuit said Hartfield needed to present his claims to state court, it did find that his claim is not time-barred because he was not in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court.

"The bottom line," Hawk told AP, "is the commutation came after a mandate was issued. It wasn’t valid and it’s time for him to get a new trial.”


snip

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/inmate_has_been_waiting_nearly_three_decades_for_court-ordered_retrial/

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Response to Wilms (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:42 PM

8. Thanks for the link. n/t

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:23 PM

9. this story is very hard to believe

in Texas, the authority to change
a death sentence to life,
belongs solely to the Parole Board.

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Response to quadrature (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:29 PM

10. Nothing related to Texas and the death penalty is hard for me to believe.

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