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  S.B. No. 1308
 
 
 
 
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, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsection (d) and adding Subsection (n) 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:
                     (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, unless the local selection
  committee determines under Subsection (n) that the conduct
  underlying the finding no longer accurately reflects the attorney's
  ability to provide effective representation;
                     (D)  have at least five years of criminal law
  experience;
                     (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, unless the local selection
  committee determines under Subsection (n) that the conduct
  underlying the finding no longer accurately reflects the attorney's
  ability to provide effective representation;
                     (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)  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
  defense in 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.
         (n)  At the request of an attorney, the local selection
  committee shall make a determination under Subsection (d)(2)(C) or
  (3)(C), as applicable, regarding an attorney's current ability to
  provide effective representation following a judicial finding that
  the attorney previously rendered ineffective assistance of counsel
  in a capital case.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies to an
  attorney who, before, on, or after the effective date of this Act,
  has been found by a federal or state court to have rendered
  ineffective assistance of counsel during the trial or appeal of a
  capital case.
         SECTION 3.  A local selection committee shall amend its
  standards as necessary to conform with the requirements of
  Subsection (n), Article 26.052, Code of Criminal Procedure, as
  added by this Act, not later than the 30th day after the effective
  date of this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1308 passed the Senate on
  April 5, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1308 passed the House on
  May 23, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor