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Voters Guide

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8

What Do They Do? A short video explanation of state elected officeshttps://youtu.be/MdspUkvqoZ46-year term. A member of the court with final judgment in all criminal cases. The court must review all cases in which the death penalty is assessed. It also exercises discretionary review in other criminal cases and issues writs of habeas corpus.Current salary: $171,000Plazo de 6 años. Un miembro de la corte con el juicio final de todos los casos penales. El tribunal debe revisar todos los casos en los que se evalúa la pena de muerte. También ejerce una revisión discrecional en otros casos penales y emite recursos de habeas corpus.Salario actual:$ 171,000.

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  • Candidate picture

    Mark Ash

  • Candidate picture

    Michelle Slaughter

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Biographical Information

Background: What training, experience, and background qualify you for this position?

Access to Justice: What recent technological developments provide opportunities to improve the state's indigent defense system in civil and criminal cases?

Mental Health: What should the Court of Criminal Appeals’ goal be in the newly formed Judicial Commission on Mental Health?

Responsibilities: Which responsibility of a Court of Criminal Appeals judge is your highest priority and how do you intend to accomplish it?

I have been a criminal defense for 25 years. I graduated from UT/El Paso in 1985 and South Texas College of Law in 1992.
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Protect Civil Liberties. I will uphold the US and Texas Constitutions and improve the quality of life for all Texas by deciding individual cases in an impartial manner based on the law and the facts because everyone's rights matter.
Having served as a district judge for the past several years, I have presided over thousands of criminal cases ranging from state-jail felonies to capital murder cases. Moreover, I have a proven track record of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and saving taxpayer dollars, all while ensuring that the interests of justice are served.
There is so much opportunity to improve access to justice with technology. One example is e-filing. With e-filing, courts are much more accessible to the indigent. Online forms and instructions can be developed to allow individuals to create their own court filings and legal documents if they want to represent themselves. In addition, through the use of video chatting apps (i.e. FaceTime), those without transportation can still appear and participate in court without fear of sanctions.
The goal needs to be determining and implementing cost-effective ways to provide justice in criminal cases involving mentally-ill defendants. While punishment is certainly a goal of the criminal justice system, so is rehabilitation. The cycle of criminal activity can only be broken if a defendant can be rehabilitated. Rehabilitation is especially difficult with mentally-ill defendants because the criminal justice system lacks the proper resources. That deficiency must be rectified.
Preserving and protecting an individual’s constitutional rights must be the highest priority in the CCA. As a constitutional conservative judge, my opinions will inform the public of the constitutional issues at hand and my decisions will strictly adhere to the U.S. and Texas Constitutions. Transparency is another priority. Therefore, even if I am in the minority on a decision, I will not be afraid to issue critical dissenting opinions that call attention to constitutional violations.