Revenge, Not Justice


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Sep 30, 2011
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Dow is now in trouble because he filed a late petition. In October of 2014, Dow may or may not have missed a filing deadline in an appeal before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—the state’s highest criminal appeals court—on behalf of his client Miguel Paredes, sentenced for the triple murder of members of a rival street gang. Dow had come very late to the case and, with the execution scheduled, he discovered that Paredes’ trial lawyer had called no witnesses in this capital case, and he sought to file a petition with the court. Paredes was executed a few days later.

I say he “may or may not” have missed a deadline because one of the judges looking at Dow’s conduct in that case has written that “Dow’s pleadings were arguably timely filed,” and because, if his filing was indeed late, it was late by a matter of either 30 minutes or a few hours, depending on who’s counting.

But in 2009, Dow was also late with a filing before the CCA. So on Jan. 14 of this year, the CCA determined that Dow’s tardiness last fall was such an egregious piece of lawyerly misconduct that it warranted a contempt order. The court fashioned a new punishment and suspended him from practicing before the CCA for 12 months. (Alternative sanctions suggested by the more lenient judge on the panel included home confinement and electronic monitoring.) In other words, one of Texas’ leading death penalty lawyers has been benched for a year for maybe missing a deadline. One wonders what the sanction might be for using the incorrect font.

David Dow suspended by Texas court Death penalty defense lawyer s conflicts with appeals court.

I'm thinking a year is a bit extreme.

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