Reply Brief in Support of Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Filled on May 24th, 2022

The State’s Brief in Opposition (BIO) contains no cogent legal argument. It relies on a stream-of-consciousness jumble of “facts,” cherry-picked largely from a trial record that is the product of prosecutorial misconduct and junk science.

Presumably, the State’s goal is to suggest that the case of an indigent individual on death row, who has been unable to present evidence of his innocence and of the rampant prosecutorial misconduct that enabled his wrongful conviction, is unworthy of this Court’s attention because the matter is so fact-intensive. Yet the State’s misleading presentation underscores the urgency of the legal issues presented. Actual facts, i.e., the truth, should matter; and the State’s frenetic effort to obscure the facts now known exemplifies the systemic denial of due process in state habeas proceedings in Texas death-penalty cases, a phenomenon that has resulted in overburdening federal courts to which habeas applicants have been forced to turn in search of a full and fair hearing.

See, e.g., Reed v. Goertz, Supreme Court No. 21-442 (granting petition in Texas death-penalty case challenging integrity of 1998 conviction); but see Shinn v. Jones, 596 U.S. __ (May 23, 2022) (curtailing federal courts’ ability to assess constitutional failures accounting for wrongful state-court convictions).

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