Friday, August 12, 2011

Texas - Land of the Incompetent and the Free

This is Stanley Blackwell.  In December 1992, he was convicted of sexual assault of a child and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He appealed, and lost in April 1995.  He was out on bond then, and tried to turn himself in.  Except they forgot to issue a warrant for his arrest and wouldn't take him into custody.  He tried again.  Same result.
Eventually, they issued that warrant, but nobody went after him.
In 2002, he tried again to get his conviction overturned by seeking a writ from the state courts.  Except he still wasn't in custody, so it was denied.
The Austin American-Statesman quotes Blackwell's lawyer, Trey Collins.
For years, he was living a normal life. He was never on the run.
They finally arrested him March.  More than 18 years after he was sentenced.
Wednesday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, issued it's opinion.
Applicant also did not violate any conditions of his appellate bond and in fact tried to turn himself in twice and was turned away. Applicant was improperly out of custody on appeal bond through no fault of his own. He was not attempting to conceal himself, and the State made no efforts to secure Applicant so that he may begin to serve his sentence.
No misconduct on his part.  He tried to do the right thing and go to prison, but they'd lost his reservation.  Not his fault.
The opinion is all of 6 paragraphs.  Here's the most important one.
Relief is granted. Applicant is to receive time credit in this cause from the time the mandate issued in his appeal to the present. With the granting of this time credit, he has served this sentence in full and shall be immediately discharged from custody.
Did I mention this was the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals?
Did I mention that the decision was unanimous?
That even Killer Keller signed off on it?
There was a guy facing capital charges in Ohio.  While he was in jail waiting for his trial, they accidentally released him.  He tried to tell them it was a mistake, but they wouldn't listen.  They made him leave.  Made him.  So he left.  In time, he was arrested again and taken to trial.  The state said that his flight was evidence that he was guilty.
What flight?  They made him leave.  Made him. The Supreme Court of Ohio said it was fine.
He had too fled.
He's on death row.
Collins expects that Blackwell will be released in a couple of days.  Which isn't exactly "immediately," but it beats hell out 9 1/2 years from now.
And it's still Texas after all.
Lucky he wasn't in Ohio.


  1. You change a little every single day
    And sometimes life will change you
    But deep down you're still you just hiding under the new one
    When you find yourself again the real you will come back
    No matter what happens you can't change you heart
    When it's full of kindness you will find happiness
    When it's full of evil you will always find trouble
    And make your own life miserable.

    When you're lost and don't know where to go
    You will find the right path if you look
    There are so many to choose from
    It's a given you will at times pick the wrong one
    Sometime the wrong one can last for years
    Sometimes for days or weeks
    Sometimes the right one will end
    Then you have to find the right one again

    I have found this is the hardest part of life
    When you fall enough times it's hard to want to keep getting up
    And if you want to stay down for awhile
    There's nothing wrong with it everyone heals in their own way
    When you start making yourself miserable then you should stop
    Find something you love and do it everytime you need a smile
    Surround yourself by people who make you laugh
    And never not take new chances even if you're scared
    All scars will heal in time
    Just don't let them leave you bitter
    For with a good heart this will be a waste of your time
    And I know when I see someone who has a good heart!!!