Monthly archive

December 2019

December 2019 SDR – Voice for the Defense Vol. 48, No. 10

Voice for the Defense Volume 48, No. 10 Edition Editor: Michael Mowla From Editor Michael Mowla:         1. I summarize each opinion in a manner that allows readers to generally use this SDR instead of reading every opinion.         2. If you determine that a summarized opinion is relevant to one of your cases, I urge you to read

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Coercive Interrogation and the Vulnerable Population

[A] system of criminal law enforcement which comes to depend on the “confession” will, in the long run, be less reliable and more subject to abuses than a system which depends on extrinsic evidence independently secured through skillful investigation.” Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 488-89 (1964). “[F]alse confessions are [a] leading cause of wrongful convictions[.]” State v.

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Small-Town Advice for the Big-City Lawyer

As a solo practitioner in Nacogdoches, I always enjoy seeing fellow criminal defense lawyers from out of town travel to the courthouse and defend the innocent accused (and occasionally a few guilty ones). It can also be quite entertaining to see how they handle practicing in a small town. In the twenty-odd years I’ve been

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Voir Dire: Method Follows Model

Imagine you are repairing a car. How you perform the task depends on your understanding of how the car works. If you think internal combustion is powered by magic hamsters, you’re going to do the job differently than if you understand the suck-squeeze-bang-blow of a four-stroke engine. And, because there are no hamsters, feeding the hamsters is

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Executive Director’s Perspective: Learn by Doing

Join the next generation of Texas Defenders by applying to become a mentor or mentee through the Future Indigent Defense Leaders Program (FIDL). Together the Texas Indigent Task Force, Harris County Public Defenders Office, and TCDLA are starting their second year of the program. FIDL is a selective program that aims to create the next

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Ethics & The Law: Rudolph (and Gifts to Judges)

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All of you have heard the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and are familiar with its main character, Rudolph. Rudolph was created in 1939 by Robert May, an employee of Montgomery Ward. Although sources vary as to whether May created the story of Rudolph to promote sales at the Christmas season or to give as

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