- The state provides for enhanced punishments for offenders with prior misdemeanor and felony convictions.
Art. I, § 13: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted. All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law.
Repeat and Habitual Felony Offenders: Texas allows for sentence enhancements, including the possibility of life imprisonment, for offenders previously convicted of felonies and who are subsequently convicted of felonies. V.T.C.A. § 12.42.
Repeat and Habitual Misdemeanor Offenders: The state provides for sentencing enhancement when it is shown that an offender has a prior misdemeanor of the same class level or higher, or a previous felony, on his or her record. V.T.C.A. § 12.43.
The state’s habitual criminal statute has repeatedly been upheld against claims it imposes cruel and unusual punishment. Harris v. State, 656 S.W.2d 481 (Tex.Crim.App. 1983).
A prior conviction cannot enhance punishment for an offense under the state’s habitual criminal act if it was an essential element of the instant crime. Gearing v. State, 685 S.W.2d 339, 341 (Tex.Ct.App. 1983)(sustaining challenge in case where prior felony conviction was used to prove both an element of the crime of possession of a firearm by a felon and as grounds for enhancement of penalty).
Article I, §13 of the Texas constitution is coextensive with the Eighth Amendment to the federal constitution whereas proportionality is concerned. Alberto v. State, 100 S.W.3d 528, 530 (Tex.Ct.App. 2003).
Continue reading below
The state constitution is not violated when the punishment assessed is within the limits prescribed by statute. Atchinson v. State, 124 S.W.3d 755, 759 (Tex.Ct.App. 2003).
Court upheld mandatory life sentence for sexual assault of a child; court rejected argument that mandatory nature of sentence precluded introduction of mitigating evidence and was therefore cruel and unusual. Duran v. State, 363 S.W.3d 719, 721 (Tex.Ct.App. 2011).
Pre-Trial Suppression & Fourth Amendment Issues
This Trial Guide is a topical and practical handbook examining the nuts and bolts of the most current Fourth Amendment & Pre-Trial Suppression issues encountered in modern criminal cases.
Defense Counsel Playbook for Eyewitness ID Cases
This Trial Guide was written to help counsel use existing case law to its strongest advantage, and to create a framework for appellate challenges urging courts to adopt leading cases.
Ultimate Cross 2.0
This special CLE compilation program includes the highest-rated presentations on Cross-Examination techniques from NACDL's most recent seminars (2017-2019).
Forensic Sciences in Criminal Cases: A Multidiscipline Primer
In order to challenge forensic evidence, experts, reports and findings commonly encountered in the courtroom, an attorney must first have a basic understanding of the forensic issues that they will be confronting.
This is a sponsored ad
Manage Your Law Firm All in One Place