Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals

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

    Maria T. (Terri) Jackson
    (Dem)

  • Sharon Keller
    (Rep)

  • William Bryan Strange III
    (L)

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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?

Campaign Phone (832) 477-2910
I have the experience, fairness and discernment needed on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. As a district court judge, I have presided over thousands of serious felony offenses, which range from low-level drug offenses to capital murder. I have presided over one hundred jury trials and I have a combined 15 years of judicial experience.
One of the more recent advancements in Harris County has been the implementation of electronic filing. Electronic filing enables attorneys and other users to submit documents to multiple courts, utilize digital signatures, reduces court costs and creates a centralized location for documents. The reduction of court costs and access to critical documents is paramount to the indigent defense system as it saves money on the front end.
The Judicial Commission on Mental Health was formed in February 2018. The goal is to develop, implement and coordinate policy initiatives to improve the courts’ dealings with individuals in the court system who are in crisis. In my opinion, the primary goal should be to create resolution for key issues that plague the judicial system, beginning with overcrowded dockets, lack of communication between judges, court staff, attorneys and mental health care providers, and funding issues.
The Court needs judges that are sensible and can identify complex issues facing the court. My highest priority is to treat everyone fairly and be available when hot button cases, such as death penalty cases, come before the court, even if it is not within the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lastly, it is imperative to work closely with the Texas legislature, our Governor and other community stakeholders to address issues that need to be reformed in the criminal justice system.
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