// author archive

Greg Westfall

Greg Westfall has written 17 posts for Voice for the Defense Blog

Why I Think the Death Penalty Will Die

“From this day forward I shall no longer tinker with the machinery of death.”  Justice Harry Blackmun (dissenting to denial of cert.) Callins v. Collins, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994). I just tried what I am sure will be my last death penalty case.  It is a decision I made a year and a half ago […]

A Little Death Penalty Math, Part 2.

How much education could one death penalty case buy? By the most recent numbers I have seen, it costs a county $500,000 to try the average death penalty case and, all things considered, approximately $2 to $3 million from investigation to execution.[1]  Even before our Governor and Legislature fleeced the school system this last session, Texas […]

Nothing Really Has Changed (The Sad State of the Great Writ); By Robin Norris

Early in 1986, the Court of Criminal Appeals decided that the time for filing a state’s petition for discretionary review is extended if the decision of the intermediate appellate court becomes final on a weekend or holiday.  West v. State, 702 S.W.2d 629 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986). Four months later, the Court decided that the […]

The Randall Dale Adams I Knew (by guest author Kerry Max Cook)

It was the summer of 1978 when I met a young Randall Dale Adams on cellblock J-21 — the original death row “wing” where those exiled under a sentence of death were assigned “Ad. Seg,” or Administrative Segregation, as prison officials classify it. Death row was a lot of things, but most of all, it […]

A Little Death Penalty Math

Well, we had two executions last night, one of which was of a man who many believe was innocent.  Not the first time we’ve seen that.  Won’t be the last.  So long as we impose the ultimate punishment, there will be the risk of a mistake.  An innocent person dies. But then what?  If this […]

It’s Sausage Time!!

Well, as September 1 rapidly approaches, carrying with it the product of our duly elected representatives, I am reminded of some words by Grant Gilmore: Law reflects but in no sense determines the moral worth of a society. The values of a reasonably just society will reflect themselves in a reasonably just law. The better […]

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which […]

Smith County Justice (by guest author Kerry Max Cook)

“It shall be the primary duty of all prosecuting attorneys, including any special prosecutors, not to convict, but to see that justice is done.  They shall not suppress facts or secrete witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused.” Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 2.01 The small East Texas town of Tyler in […]

Fashionable Racism (from the archives)

“In a letter released Thursday by [Donald] Trump’s publicist, the real estate investor told Elzanaty that he would buy his stake in the lower Manhattan building for 25 percent more than whatever Elzanaty paid.  …  Trump also attached a condition to his offer.  He said that as part of the deal, the backers of the […]

The Chief Justice’s Vague Threat of “Action”

A new missive on the Texas Supreme Court’s website reads: “STATEMENT BY CHIEF JUSTICE WALLACE B. JEFFERSON
 ON PROPOSED DISCIPLINARY RULES AMENDMENTS’ DEFEAT The Court is grateful to the many lawyers who contributed their time and wisdom to proposing revisions to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. The current rules are outdated, and must be […]