Monday, September 24, 2007

Trial This Week

Trial preparation is a very busy time. This past week I've been preparing for a trial in which my client is charged with burglary of a habitation. In other words, the State alleged my client entered someone's home without the owner's consent and with the intent to commit theft. Alternatively, the State will prove that, in fact, theft was committed by my client while inside the home.

This case is unusual since my client was found incompetent to stand trial last March and was hospitalized until August 15, 2007. The doctors at Rusk State Hospital stated he was now competent and had a rational understanding of the proceedings against him. However, it's been extremely challenging to discuss the case with him and gain his trust. Compounding the problem is the solid case against him. Additionally, the client's prior trips to the State prison make his minimum punishment 25 years, with a maximum of life. The client has been unwilling to negotiate any settlement short of trial.

I couldn't think of a more unjust result than this man receiving even the minimum possible punishment. Since 1990 he's been in and out of the state mental health and mental retardation services system. He is clearly troubled and unable to properly provide for his needs. The prosecutors were unwilling to recommend anything other than 25 years to do. My attempts to persuade them to drop an enhancement and offer something reasonable have fallen upon deaf ears. The client's family is behind him and will be present for the trial. I expect his mother and father to testify at the punishment phase if he is convicted.

I've been putting the finishing touches on my jury selection presentation. I just came back from the courtroom where I test-drove my "Keynote" presentation and made sure all the wires, electrical cords, and the like were in good working order. If I knew the prosecutors did not read this blog, I might share some trial strategy with my readers. That will need to wait, however. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy the life of a Texas criminal defense lawyer and get ready for trial.

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