Judge Meyers's dissent argued that the court's opinion contravened the will of the legislature since the Lege could have easily put in:
- a deadline or
- an acknowledgement that laches applied
I hate it when people are denied appellate relief other than on the merits. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 1. But Perez or his family members were almost certainly told by the initial appellate lawyer or the lawyer who did the civil suit that Perez should apply for habeas corpus relief, and, generally, the sooner the better. Really, more than 19 years is too long to wait.
The thinking in this case might lay the groundwork for how Texas courts deal with Jerry Hartsfield, the defendant whose 1983 reversal of his conviction was never implemented. His efficacious federal writ application was filed Oct. 22, 2007. His facts are different, though. He filed a number of pro se motions for relief earlier and didn't have counsel to help him until shortly after he filed his federal writ. Hartsfield's claims of post-conviction ignorance are much more reasonable than Perez's. The law in his case is different, too. Hartsfield got the death penalty at the trial court, so his post-conviction rules are different.
Hat tip for this case to the estimable Jim Skelton.
Ex parte Perez, No. AP-76,800 (Tex. Ct. Crim. App. Oct. 8, 2014 available at ww.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=35d3f487-d044-4f01-9b49-c473fa02ef2b&coa=coscca&DT=OPINION&MediaID=55f5c7f0-26f3-4adb-b5d0-1b93e38aff4e)