Litigation

SEX CRIME DEFENDANT’S CONVICTION OVERTURNED DUE TO JUDGE ELECTROCUTING HIM THREE TIMES

Defendant Terry Lee Morris was tried and convicted on one count of soliciting the sexual performance of a child (his former girlfriend’s 15-year old daughter). After the jury found enhancing factors true, Morris was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The Court of Appeals of Texas, Eighth District, El Paso recently reversed Morris’ conviction and ordered him retried upon determining that the trial transcript clearly showed that the trial judge, during a heated exchanged with Morris outside the presence of the jury, ordered his bailiff to electrocute him three times with a stun belt.  The Court of Appeals found that the trial judge did not electrocute Morris for legitimate security purposes, but solely as a show of the court's power as the defendant asked the court to stop "torturing" him.

Ultimately, the Court of Appeals harbored grave doubts as to whether Morris' trial comported with basic constitutional mandates and found it had not no choice but to overturn Morris' conviction and remand for a new trial.

 Lexis subscribers can access the full opinion at:  

Morris v. State, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 1568 (Tex. App. El Paso Feb. 28, 2018)

Lexis Advanced subscribers can access the full opinion at: 

Morris v. State, 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 1568 (Tex. App. El Paso Feb. 28, 2018)

Author:  Gabriela N. Nolen, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor

 

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