5th Circuit Court of Appeals Case, Highlights Important Lessons

5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Rejects Appeal From Death Row Inmate

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected an appeal from a death row inmate who participated in the “Texas 7” gang of escaped prisoners. Legal counsel for the man tried to argue to a court of law that evidence failed to establish that he attempted to kill a law enforcement officer and that he had inefficient legal counsel both at his trial and earlier appeal. The man was serving a 50-year sentence for a crime when he, along with six other inmates, broke out of a Texas prison in 2000 and proceeded to commit numerous robberies. The man is also one of the three members of the gang who are on death row, with one of these men already having been executed.

This case illustrates several valuable lessons that anyone interested in making a federal criminal appeal should remember. Above all, it is important to remember that if you are interested in making a federal criminal appeal, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of strong legal representation who makes sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.

Lesson # 1: Federal Criminal Appeals are Slow

Almost always, federal criminal appeals take months. A good number of criminal appeals, however, take years. There are several reasons why this process takes so long, including that federal courts are crowded and deciding an appeal is slow because courts must consider each legal claim that is made. Federal appellate judge and staff also handle hundreds of other appeals, which further slows down this process. The Administrative Office of the United States Court produces detailed yearly statistics about each federal court’s caseload, which reveals that cases on appeal take a year on average. For example, in the case mentioned above, the appeals have taken much longer than a year.  As a result, you should not enter into a federal appeal expecting that the issue will resolve quickly.

Lesson # 2: Details Matter in Appeals

Procedural details are essential in the appellate process, and frequently the difference in a court’s decision relies on small details that are involved in the appeal. Federal appellate courts have created many regulations, which are strictly enforced as part of appeals. Errors during the appeal process also have the effect of protracting the length of the appeal process. Given the many complicated issues that can arise during the appeal process, and the significant impact these issues can have on an appeal, it is best to obtain the assistance of a knowledgeable federal criminal appeals attorney who can decrease the chances that any errors are made.

Obtain the Services of a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are many complicated issues involved in federal criminal appeals, and this article has mentioned only two of the most important ones. At the Federal Criminal Law Center, we have helped many people create strong criminal appeals. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.