Journal Title

St. Mary's Law Journal





First Page


Document Type


Publication Information



Texas courts should embrace their duty to protect the constitution and forbid the legislature from pursuing a politically popular agenda at the expense of the fundamental rights of certain citizens. Article 11.071 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure runs afoul of the language, intent, and purpose of Texas constitutional guarantees, and eliminates procedural protections designed to guard against the execution of innocent persons.

The Texas Legislature should not be allowed to shorten the time period for seeking habeas relief. Article 11.071 violates the due course of law provisions of the Texas Constitution and violates the Texas equal rights provision. The principal purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to provide prisoners with the means to challenge the legality of his or her confinement outside of the ordinary appellate process. By limiting access to the Great Writ, the Texas Legislature has engaged in the very governmental abuses that the framers and ratifiers of the Texas Bill of Rights sought to prevent.

Recommended Citation

James C. Harrington and Anne More Burnham, Texas’s New Habeas Corpus Procedure For Death-Row Inmates: Kafkaesque-And Probably Unconstitutional, 27 St. Mary’s​ L.J. 69 (1995–­1996).



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.