Texas Appeals Court Grants New Trial … but Lets Prosecutor “Off the Hook”

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted Hannah Overton a new trial based upon her claim of  “ineffective assistance of counsel” (IAC).  She has served seven years of a life sentence for capital murder in the death of her 4-year-old stepson who died of a sodium overdose (salt poisoning).  She truly did have ineffective assistance of counsel, because her attorney did not present the videotaped deposition of a salt poisoning expert saying that the overdose was likely unintentional, and there was nothing she could have done.

But here’s the part of the story that really gets me.  Overton had also filed a claim that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence (Brady violation), and the court was presented with both the IAC claim and the Brady claim.  In it’s ruling, the court declined to rule on the Brady claim, saying it was unnecessary since they had granted a new trial based upon the IAC claim.  They let the prosecutor off the hook.

Story from KRIS TV (Corpus Christi, TX) here.

For a current update, see the KRIS site here.

7 responses to “Texas Appeals Court Grants New Trial … but Lets Prosecutor “Off the Hook”

  1. This is common for appeals courts to remove themselves from controversy by taking the easiest way out on a ruling., Literally, the order in which you list your enumerations allows this to happen, especially when an inmate is filing pro se motions. I was wrongly convicted of Child Abandonment in Georgia. Then later illegally imprisoned under the same conviction. The Court of Appeals there agreed with my false imprisonment claim, but refused to hear my claims of wrongful conviction because I had filed that motion one day too late (It was mailed from prison 8 days before the deadline). I have been waiting for nearly 4 months for a ruling on another reequest for out of time appeal…always looking for a way to stonewall your efforts, while they steamroll your rights.

  2. Pingback: New Trial For Woman But Brady Violation Ignored | Politiva Justice

  3. An unbalanced justice system = NO fair and equal justice for the people.

    Prosecutors should be charged with a felony for wrongfully convicting a person. They should face the same punishment, they want for the accused, then these wrongful convictions would evaporate, along with all the money!

    Prosecutors have no oversight, no transparency and no accountability. Prosecutors have grown the prison population, which is unsustainable by the taxpayers, while prosecutors fight meaningful reform for failed, draconian sentencing and criminal laws. Add the militarization of our Peace officers/domestic police/and the military equipment going into our small towns across America and we have a recipe for tyranny, that one would expect in a Third world country, NOT in a civilized society, America “land of the free”. It’s time to end absolute immunity for prosecutors who hold ALL the power and resources, and restore the balance of the scales of justice.

    • Agree, completely. In addition, her original defense attorney should be sued for malpractice, assuming there is no statute of limitation. They did not allow the testimony of a leading authority on the effects pica in the pediatric patient. This was a critical error that, most likely would have resulted in her acquittal.

  4. Top prosecutors in Arizona, write there are NO wrongful convictions or Brady violations in Arizona. As they choose to ignore, new evidence and exculpatory evidence – proof of a scam for money; and ignore over 158,000 supporters to free Courtney Bisbee, Maricopa County.

    Keep the lid Debra Milke, AZ, wrongful conviction, as her sentence and conviction were overturned by the 9th Circuit Court, March 14, 2013 – after 25 years on death row.

    Who are these politicians (not ministers of justice) fooling? Their legal peers or the people?

    • correction: Top prosecutors..”Kept the lid Debra Milke, AZ, wrongful conviction, as her sentence and conviction were overturned by the 9th Circuit Court, March 14, 2013 – after 25 years on death row?

  5. Pingback: Update on the Hannah Overton Case | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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