On August 19, 2009, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals considered the Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus of Tremont Williams (No. WR-63,250-02 and 03).
Williams alleged that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) violated his Due Process rights when sex offender conditions had been imposed on him when he had never been convicted of a sex offense. The trial court tried to summarily dispose of the matter by denying Williams a hearing and recommending that the Court of Criminal Appeals deny relief in the matter.
The Court of Criminal Appeals, while rarely entertaining such Writs, saw merit to William’s petition. The Court referred the case back to the trial court for resolution which could include a hearing on the merits and affidavits of evidence from the TDCJ General Counsel. The trial court was directed to make findings of fact by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
State court writs filed under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 11.07 have specific deadlines. Decisions can be made and possible relief may be obtained in a shorter time frame, with much less expense. This does not mean that State court litigation is inexpensive, as you should expect fees in the range of $25,000 to $35.000.
Remember: these cases are still in litigation (i.e. the appeals process). However, with three decisions that are favorable to the applicant, we believe that the Courts are:
- Interested in these issues
- Inclined to grant relief
The Cohen Law Firm has long maintained that the Parole Division’s and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles practices in the imposition of sex offender conditions was constitutionally deficient. It is apparent that these Due Process claims are finally receiving the serious attention of the Federal and State Courts. The trend is now favorable to the offender.
The Cohen Law Firm accepts cases challenging the imposition of sex offender conditions. It is our view that relief is possible for offenders who have been unconstitutionally placed on this most onerous and stigmatizing sex offender caseload.
_The complete finding for Coleman v. Dretke case can be found here