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  • bennettandbennett

Too Little, Too Late

On Friday, I sprung a guy from a Texas prison.

“Carl” had been in for nine years on an online-solicitation-of-a-minor case when his mom hired me to file an application for writ of habeas corpus on his behalf.

Just after Christmas the Tarrant County District Attorney agreed that relief was appropriate, and agreed to Carl’s release on his own recognizance. The court bench-warranted Carl back from prison to the county jail, and put him on the docket for Friday.

I drove up for the proceedings, and the judge set a one-dollar personal bond, conditioned only on Carl’s reporting back to the jail if the Court of Criminal Appeals refuses relief. About seven hours later the Tarrant County Sheriff let Carl out.

I have to admit that I got a bit teary: For the last three and a half years Carl has been illegally confined, sitting in prison because of a statute declared void by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Ex parte Lo. He can never get back a day of that time, and there is no prospect for him to be compensated for his illegal incarceration.

And I’m sure he isn’t the only one.

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