Fulmer v. Texas

Pending petition
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
13-5769 Tex. TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Issue: (1) Texas has enacted a statute, Texas Penal Code § 21.02, which criminalizes continuous sexual abuse of a child or children under age 14. A jury is permitted to convict someone without unanimously agreeing exactly which two acts occurred. All the jury has to unanimously decide is that any two acts (24 total acts if there are 12 jurors) occurred over a period lasting 30 days or more. Does this statute violate the federal constitutional requirements of a unanimous jury verdict in criminal prosecutions or due process of law? Or is the statute constitutional because, as the Texas appellate courts have held, the “two or more acts” element is only the “manner and means” of committing this offense, and therefore the jury does not need to unanimously agree which two acts occurred in order to convict; (2) Texas Government Code § 508.145(a) prohibits someone convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child or children under age 14 from being parole eligible. However, someone convicted of a multiple, specific acts of abuse against a child or children under age 14 remains parole eligible. Does this legislative classification violate the federal constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws, especially when, as here, a defendant is convicted of both continuous sexual abuse, which is not parole eligible, and specific acts of abuse, which are parole eligible.

DateProceedings and Orders
Aug 5 2013Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due September 12, 2013)
Sep 26 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of October 11, 2013.
Oct 4 2013Letter of September 28, 2013, from counsel for petitioner received. (Distributed)
Oct 15 2013Petition DENIED.
Oct 30 2013Petition for Rehearing filed.
Nov 12 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of November 26, 2013.
Dec 2 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of December 6, 2013.
Dec 9 2013Rehearing DENIED.
 
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