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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Parole Board Giveth, the Montgomery County Jury Taketh Away

The left hand of the State of Texas doesn't know what the right hand is doing when it comes to paroling sex offenders. Norman Lewis Evers was convicted of six counts of burglary with intent to commit rape. There was evidence each of these burglaries had culminated in a rape, and that, additionally, he had  raped another woman in California during the time of the Texas offenses. Evers came up for parole and obtained it under a super-intensive supervision program. The Sexually Violent Predator Multidisciplinary Committee, a screening expert, and the Special Prosecution Unit- Civil Division caused a petition to be brought against him that he was a sexually violent predator and should be civilly committed. Now in order to get parole, the parole panel must believe that the offender "is able and willing to fulfill the obligations of a law-abiding citizen." The trial jury committed him in spite of the panel's belief. He challenged the trial court's jurisdiction and the sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's verdict. Justice David Gaultney wrote for a panel of the Ninth Court of Appeals sitting in Beaumont including Chief Justice Steve McKeithen and Justice Charles Kreger affirming the trial court judgment. Evers's goose was basically cooked by a holding in the prior case  In re Commitment of Nicholas (Tex. App.--Beaumont, pet. denied, 2010) that the sexually violent predator statute covered parolees as well as those about to be released from prison. Still, if Evers can jump through all the hoops to get a habeas corpus petition before a federal judge in this matter, that the jury found that he was, beyond a reasonable doubt, likely to re-offend despite a contrary belief of the parole panel, he might well prevail.
In re Commitment of Norman Lewis Evers, No. 09-11-00430-CV (Tex. App.--Beaumont, Dec. 13, 2012)

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