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  H.B. No. 2058
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the standards for attorneys representing indigent
  defendants in capital cases.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 26.052(d), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  as amended by Chapters 787 (S.B. 60) and 965 (H.B. 1701), Acts of
  the 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005, is reenacted and
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)(1)  The committee shall adopt standards for the
  qualification of attorneys to be appointed to represent indigent
  defendants in capital cases in which the death penalty is sought.
               (2)  The standards must require that a trial attorney
  appointed as lead counsel to a capital case [or an attorney
  appointed as lead appellate counsel in the direct appeal of a
  capital case]:
                     (A)  be a member of the State Bar of Texas;
                     (B)  exhibit proficiency and commitment to
  providing quality representation to defendants in death penalty
  cases;
                     (C)  have not been found by a federal or state
  court to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during the
  trial or appeal of any capital case;
                     (D)  have at least five years of criminal law
  experience [in criminal litigation];
                     (E)  have tried to a verdict as lead defense
  counsel a significant number of felony cases, including homicide
  trials and other trials for offenses punishable as second or first
  degree felonies or capital felonies;
                     (F)  have trial experience in:
                           (i)  the use of and challenges to mental
  health or forensic expert witnesses; and
                           (ii)  investigating and presenting
  mitigating evidence at the penalty phase of a death penalty trial;
  and
                     (G)  have participated in continuing legal
  education courses or other training relating to criminal defense in
  death penalty cases.
               (3)  The standards must require that an attorney
  appointed as lead appellate counsel in the direct appeal of a
  capital case:
                     (A)  be a member of the State Bar of Texas;
                     (B)  exhibit proficiency and commitment to
  providing quality representation to defendants in death penalty
  cases;
                     (C)  have not been found by a federal or state
  court to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during the
  trial or appeal of any capital case;
                     (D)  have at least five years of criminal law
  experience;
                     (E)  have authored a significant number of
  appellate briefs, including appellate briefs for homicide cases and
  other cases involving an offense punishable as a capital felony or a
  felony of the first degree or an offense described by Section
  3g(a)(1), Article 42.12;
                     (F)  have trial or appellate experience in:
                           (i)  the use of and challenges to mental
  health or forensic expert witnesses; and
                           (ii)  the use of mitigating evidence at the
  penalty phase of a death penalty trial; and
                     (G)  have participated in continuing legal
  education courses or other training relating to criminal defense in
  appealing death penalty cases.
               (4)  The committee shall prominently post the standards
  in each district clerk's office in the region with a list of
  attorneys qualified for appointment.
               (5) [(4)]  Not later than the second anniversary of the
  date an attorney is placed on the list of attorneys qualified for
  appointment in death penalty cases and each year following the
  second anniversary, the attorney must present proof to the
  committee that the attorney has successfully completed the minimum
  continuing legal education requirements of the State Bar of Texas,
  including a course or other form of training relating to criminal 
  [the] defense in [of] death penalty cases or in appealing death
  penalty cases, as applicable. The committee shall remove the
  attorney's name from the list of qualified attorneys if the
  attorney fails to provide the committee with proof of completion of
  the continuing legal education requirements.
         SECTION 2.  A local selection committee shall amend its
  standards as necessary to conform with the requirements of Article
  26.052(d), Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by this Act, not
  later than the 75th day after the effective date of this Act. An
  attorney appointed to a death penalty case on or after the 75th day
  after the effective date of this Act must meet the standards adopted
  in conformity with amended Article 26.052(d), Code of Criminal
  Procedure. An attorney appointed to a death penalty case before the
  75th day after the effective date of this Act is covered by the law
  in effect when the attorney was appointed, and the former law is
  continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2058 was passed by the House on April
  7, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2058 was passed by the Senate on May
  4, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor