Difference between revisions of "Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 5"

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as may be necessary to enforce its own jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have power, upon affidavit or otherwise, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October to the last Saturday of June in each year, at the State Capital and two other places (or the capital city) if the Legislature shall hereafter so provide. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall appoint a clerk for each place at which it may sit, and each clerk shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and who shall hold his office for four years unless sooner removed by the court for good cause, entered of record on the minutes of said court."
 
as may be necessary to enforce its own jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have power, upon affidavit or otherwise, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October to the last Saturday of June in each year, at the State Capital and two other places (or the capital city) if the Legislature shall hereafter so provide. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall appoint a clerk for each place at which it may sit, and each clerk shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and who shall hold his office for four years unless sooner removed by the court for good cause, entered of record on the minutes of said court."
  
The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals, was made in 1980. See, e.g., Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=14 390] (2002) ("Thus, the court of criminal appeals could, except as to death penalty cases, control its own docket by discretionary review.").
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The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, ''The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court'', 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, [https://texaslegalguide.com/images/33_TTLR_377.pdf#page=14 390] (2002) ("Thus, the court of criminal appeals could, except as to death penalty cases, control its own docket by discretionary review.").
  
 
Note that the language in Article V, Section [[Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 6|6]] that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
 
Note that the language in Article V, Section [[Texas Constitution:Article V, Section 6|6]] that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Latest revision as of 19:05, November 29, 2019

As amended November 6, 2001:

(a) The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have final appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of the state, and its determinations shall be final, in all criminal cases of whatever grade, with such exceptions and under such regulations as may be provided in this Constitution or as prescribed by law.

(b) The appeal of all cases in which the death penalty has been assessed shall be to the Court of Criminal Appeals. The appeal of all other criminal cases shall be to the Courts of Appeal as prescribed by law. In addition, the Court of Criminal Appeals may, on its own motion, review a decision of a Court of Appeals in a criminal case as provided by law. Discretionary review by the Court of Criminal Appeals is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion.

(c) Subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Judges thereof shall have the power to issue the writ of habeas corpus, and, in criminal law matters, the writs of mandamus, procedendo, prohibition, and certiorari. The Court and the Judges thereof shall have the power to issue such other writs as may be necessary to protect its jurisdiction or enforce its judgments. The court shall have the power upon affidavit or otherwise to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction.

Editor Comments

As amended in 1891, this section read: "The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of the State in all criminal cases of whatever grade, with such exceptions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. The Court of Criminal Appeals and the judges thereof shall have the power to issue the writ of habeas corpus, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law issue such writs as may be necessary to enforce its own jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall have power, upon affidavit or otherwise, to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall sit for the transaction of business from the first Monday in October to the last Saturday of June in each year, at the State Capital and two other places (or the capital city) if the Legislature shall hereafter so provide. The Court of Criminal Appeals shall appoint a clerk for each place at which it may sit, and each clerk shall give bond in such manner as is now or may hereafter be required by law, and who shall hold his office for four years unless sooner removed by the court for good cause, entered of record on the minutes of said court."

The last substantive change to this section, which defines the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals, was made in 1980. Cf. Joe Greenhill, The Constitutional Amendment Giving Criminal Jurisdiction to the Texas Courts of Civil Appeals and Recognizing the Inherent Power of the Texas Supreme Court, 33 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 377, 390 (2002) ("Thus, the court of criminal appeals could, except as to death penalty cases, control its own docket by discretionary review.").

Note that the language in Article V, Section 6 that makes decisions of Courts of Appeals final on "questions of fact brought before them on appeal or error" is a limitation on the jurisdiction of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

  • Ex parte Dawson, 509 S.W.3d 294, 307 (Tex.Crim.App. 2016) (J. Alcala, concurring) ("The individual judges on this Court who are resolving habeas applications without a quorum of a panel of judges or a decision by the en banc Court are doing so in the absence of any constitutional or statutory authority. And their individual decisions are depriving myself and the rest of the judges not assigned to a given case of our rights under the . . . . Because this applicant's case was assigned to my chambers, rather than to another judge's chambers, this case was decided by the en banc Court in conformance with Texas law, and I therefore agree with this Court's decision.")
  • Ex parte Valdez, 489 S.W.3d 462, 465 (Tex.Crim.App. 2016) (footnote omitted) ("The applicant must first seek appropriate relief at the appropriate trial-level court. The refusal of an appropriate trial-level court to issue the writ after being presented with a colorable claim will generally constitute an extraordinary circumstance. We emphasize that, for the purpose of establishing extraordinary circumstances, the court of conviction is ordinarily the appropriate court in which to first seek relief, if it has habeas jurisdiction. And if a trial-level court issues the writ but denies relief, the applicant's remedy is an appeal from that determination, not an original writ with this Court.")
  • In re Johnson, 280 S.W.3d 866, 873-74 (Tex.Crim.App. 2008) (footnote omitted) ("And indeed, the Texas Supreme Court recently granted a petition for review in just such a case. . . . We think that as a matter of practicality, public policy, and comity between our highest courts, we should favor a construction of 'criminal law matters' that will keep the lines of direct appellate review open, so that the legal issues can be confronted directly and finally resolved, over one that will force the affected parties to resort to extraordinary remedies that do not necessarily resolve the underlying legal questions and may even result in foreclosing the possibility of any final resolution.")
  • Padilla v. McDaniel, 122 S.W.3d 805, 806 (Tex.Crim.App. 2003) (footnotes omitted) ("The threshold question is whether this court should be a court of first resort for such original actions for a writ of mandamus . . . . The people amended Article V, Section 5 of the Constitution in 1977 to give this court general authority to issue the writ of mandamus, subject to such regulations as might be prescribed by law, regarding criminal-law matters. The amendment eliminated an awkward situation in which litigants in criminal cases had to seek writs of mandamus in the Supreme Court because this court had jurisdiction to issue the writ of mandamus only to enforce its jurisdiction.")

Historic Decisions

  • Bigby v. State, 892 S.W.2d 864, 875 (Tex.Crim.App. 1994) ("Our power to review questions of fact was well established prior to White v. State, 591 S.W.2d 851, and by amending the constitution and creating a two-tiered appellate system, the Framers of our Constitution have again evinced a desire to limit factual review to the direct appellate courts. By making the direct appellate courts' determinations of questions of fact final, the Framers intention of permitting a single factual review in any case has been accorded. In our capacity as a direct appellate court in capital cases in which the defendant receives a sentence of death, we retain our ability to factually review a criminal cause.")
  • State ex rel. Holmes v. Third Court of Appeals, 885 S.W.2d 389, 418 (Tex.Crim.App. 1994) (J. Meyers, dissenting) ("Unfortunately, a great deal of the confusion and controversy surrounding this case arises because the ultimate judicial authority in our State is shared . . . . Such an interpretation is only possible, however, if the key phrases 'criminal law matters' and 'criminal cases' are construed to mean exactly the same thing. Otherwise, it necessarily follows that the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals have concurrent appellate jurisdiction in some cases, that neither court has appellate jurisdiction in other cases, or that both jurisdictional conditions are true.")
  • Meraz v. State, 785 S.W.2d 146, 154 (Tex.Crim.App. 1990) ("We now find that because of the direct language of Art. V, § 6, supra, the history of the . . . . Likewise we were in error engrafting a prototype Jackson standard of review concerning questions of fact or questions concerning the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. We now join our brethren on the Texas Supreme Court and conclude that the 'factual conclusivity clause,' within Art. V, § 6, operates to limit our jurisdiction and confers conclusive jurisdiction on the courts of appeals to resolve questions of weight and preponderance of the evidence adequate to prove a matter that the defendant must prove.")
  • Bretz v. State, 508 S.W.2d 97, 99 (Tex.Crim.App. 1974) (J. Roberts, concurring) ("Such a situation serves to point out the flaw in the present structuring of our court system. What happens as a practical matter when the two courts are faced with such cases is well outlined in the case of Ex parte Cvengros, 384 S.W.2d 881 . . . . It is my firm belief that many of the problems outlined above could be avoided if Texas had but one court of last resort, one which would have jurisdiction over both civil and criminal matters. Without doubt, aggrieved persons seeking relief in this State could do so with a great deal more assurance than they are presently afforded, as to the correct forum.")
  • State ex rel. Vance v. Clawson, 465 S.W.2d 164, 168 (Tex.Crim.App. 1971) ("Having thus determined that the trial judge had no authority to grant credit under the provisions of Article 5118a, V.A.C.S., and to that extent that his order is void . . . . The Constitution of this state, Article V, Sec. 5, Vernon's Ann.St., provides that this court and the judges thereof 'shall have the power to issue the writ of habeas corpus, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, issue such writs as may be necessary to enforce its own jurisdiction.' (emphasis supplied) There can be no question that this court may issue a writ of prohibition in those cases in which it is necessary to enforce its jurisdiction.")
  • Ex parte Young, 418 S.W.2d 824, 830 (Tex.Crim.App. 1967) ("Our construction of Art. 11.07 as amended (1) furnishes support for the holding of the Federal District Courts sitting in Texas that said statute provides an effective, adequate and speedy post conviction remedy, whereas original filing . . . . [T]he Court of Criminal Appeals will no longer exercise its constitutional original jurisdiction to entertain petitions seeking post conviction relief from confinement under a felony case unless it be shown that the petition, or one containing like sworn allegations of fact, has been presented to the judge of the convicting court. The petition for writ of habeas corpus is denied without prejudice.")
  • State ex rel. Wilson v. Briggs, 351 S.W.2d 892, 894 (Tex.Crim.App. 1961) ("Respondent challenges the authority of this Court to issue the writ of prohibition, contending that the granting thereof would suspend the writ of habeas corpus and do violence to the statutes and constitution of this state, and would be an unlawful infringement by this Court on the jurisdiction of the 117th District Court of Nueces County, Texas. We do not agree with such contention. To the contrary . . . . The Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort in this state in criminal matters. This being so, no other court of this state has authority to overrule or circumvent its decisions, or disobey its mandates.")
  • Millican v. State, 167 S.W.2d 188, 191 (Tex.Crim.App. 1943) (citations omitted) ("In challenging the correctness of our conclusion that no right of appeal existed in this case . . . . Such contention is made, notwithstanding the express limitation contained in Section 5, Article 5, of the State Constitution, Vernon's Ann.St. as follows: '* * * with such exceptions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law'; and the repeated holdings of this court contrary to appellant's views. We have no doubt as to the correctness of our conclusion that, in this state, the right of appeal is conferred only by the Constitution, with such exceptions or limitations as the legislature directs by statute.")
  • Ex parte Alderete, 203 S.W. 763, 764 (Tex.Crim.App. 1918) ("The effect of these constitutional and statutory provisions, as the writer understands them, is that the Court of Criminal Appeals is vested with authority to issue writs of habeas corpus in all cases where a person is illegally restrained of his liberty, and that the act of the Legislature vesting in the Supreme Court authority to issue such writs where restraint grows out of a civil case gives the Supreme Court concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Criminal Appeals in such cases. . . . It does not follow that the Court of Criminal Appeals will exercise its jurisdiction by granting a writ in every application for writ of habeas corpus.")
  • Ex parte Mussett, 162 S.W. 846, 847 (Tex.Crim.App. 1913) ("Our whole judicial system is built upon the principle that the Supreme Court should have final and absolute jurisdiction in all civil cases, and this court should have final and absolute jurisdiction in all criminal cases, and if this true dividing line be at all times kept in mind, we do not think that a conflict in jurisdiction, nor in the opinions of the courts, can or should arise again. Without passing on the question whether or not we have the authority under the Constitution to issue the writ, we go to . . . . There are many reasons that arise in our mind why the application should be made to the Supreme Court and not to this court.")
  • May v. Finley, 43 S.W. 257, 258 (Tex. 1897) ("If amended article 5 of the constitution had provided, as probably should have been done, that the decision of the court of criminal appeals upon the construction of all statutes relating to criminal offenses, and upon all questions relating to the jurisdiction of the courts over such offenses, should be final and controlling, there would be force in this contention. But such is not the case. . . . The constitution provides no means by which a conflict can be determined or reconciled. Each court, in deciding a question which has been determined by the other, will doubtless give great weight to the opinion of the other, but is not bound by it.")
  • Vance v. State, 30 S.W. 792, 794 (Tex.Crim.App. 1895) ("[W]e are not without such authority to make an investigation of the truth of the matter in order to ascertain our jurisdiction. The constitution (article 5, § 5) provides, ". . . its jurisdiction." And see Simmons v. Fisher, 46 Tex. 127. In connection with the motion of the attorney general, he has filed a certificate of the district clerk of King county showing that in fact a legal grand jury, of 12 qualified persons, was impaneled in said King county, and found the bill of indictment in this case, and that the certificate of transfer, showing that there were 11, which was sent to Baylor county, did not in fact speak the truth, but was a mistake.")

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