Court of Criminal Appeals to Accept E-Filing in Death Penalty Cases
Move comes after petition filed in response to judge's decision to close courthouse door before executed inmate's attorneys could file last-minute appeal
Austin attorneys Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, and Chuck Herring, an expert in legal ethics who spearheaded the e-filing petition, were pleased by the CCA's quick action – although they noted it was the least the court could do. "The e-filing is a very small, overdue step, but a welcome step," Herring said in a press statement. "Obviously, it is too late for Mr. Richard, nor does it begin to explain why ... Keller did what she did. However, in the future it may help avoid the specific type of fatal malfunction that occurred in [Richard's] case."
Indeed, Harrington noted that the speed with which the court has acted prompts the question of "why it had not done so earlier and underscores the sad reality" that Richard would "still be alive" had the court acted on its own to address its systemic deficiencies. "This is just one step ... and we will continue to take others of equal magnitude until we have a criminal justice system that Texans can be proud of and one that other states respect," Harrington said.