Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hughes News: Habeas New Evidence 02

The most recent version of my working draft habeas for Preston Hughes is now available at Skeptical Juror Docs.

In my last post, I whined, complained, bitched, lamented, grumbled, grieved, whimpered and kvetched about the newly discovered 50 page limit with which I found myself to be so harshly and unjustly burdened. I was tired, as I am now. However ... ...

[double ellipses for dramatic impact]

The 50 page limit has turned out to be a godsend. It forced me to once again consider the organization of the entire petition, to focus on the most critical issues (rather than on all cognizable claims), and to remember that  the petition must, at its heart, tell a story that will capture and compel the reader.

I spent most of the last 28 hours putting the draft petition on a low-carb diet, leaving behind only the bacon and the cheese dip.The intro is one page. The table of contents is one page and will remain one page. The table of authorities is one page and will remain one page. The procedural history is one page and will remain one page. The statement of facts has been slimmed way down. The new evidence items have been reduced from 10 items to 5. The due process items have been reduced from more than 10 to 5.

All decisions regarding what stayed and what went were made in light of the parallel case Allen, since that case is so similar and since that case was decided favorably by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That's the story I want to tell.

The most recent working draft reflects many of the changes and completes the discussion of the 5 new evidence issues. The most recent of the new evidence items begins on page 23 of the current draft.

Also, I have received a number of comments and criticisms regarding the draft petition. I cannot respond to each, due to time constraints, so I will respond to all here. Each comment causes me to think about what I am trying to accomplish and about how I might best accomplish it. Most comments cause me to adjust my thinking, if only a wee bit. All comments are sincerely appreciated.

In the next 24 hours or so, I hope to complete the due process portion. In the 24 hours after that, I hope to complete the ineffective counsel portion. Over the weekend, I hope to complete the draft. It's a challenging schedule demanding more efficiency that I have yet been able to muster, but it's my intent nonetheless.

I'll update again tomorrow.