My nephew was sentenced to life plus 40 years.There were a lot of errors in his case. He has a deadline of march 2, 2012 to file his pdr. I have been trying to assist him with this but I am needing more knowledge on it. I was advise he could do it his self or I could. I am not sure which direction to go in regards to the format of filing it. Any direction or information would be helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank You
You are hopelessly over your head. I don't know Texas, but a Texas petition for discretionary review sounds like the counterpart of an Illinois petition for leave to appeal. This is absolutely not a do-it-yourself project. Not only should it be in the hands of a good lawyer, this is a matter where it might make sense to have an appellate specialist.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I'm sorry, but the advice you received was incorrect. Yes, he can file a PDR on his own (and in many cases would have no choice but to do it on his own), but you cannot do it for him, unless you happen to be a licensed attorney. Otherwise, you would be practicing law without a license and could get yourself in trouble. Also, you're very unlikely to ba able to help him. There are not just a lot of laws involved in figuring out an appellate case, there are also a lit of procedural rules that even the ones of us who deal with them all the time can hardly keep straight. There are some matters that can be addressed on a PDR, and some that can't. Sometimes it depends on exactly how the court of appeals or the trial court or the trial attorneys handled that issue more than what the actual ruling was. Even if you could legally ro this for him, I don't think you'd be likely to be successful with this. I'm sorry, and I hope things work out somehow.
Family Law Attorney
Ms. Foley is right. You cannot file a PDR for him. He either needs to do it himself (the prison library will have the forms for an indigent PDR) or you need to raise the money to hire an experienced appellate lawyer. This is definately not a do-it-yourself project. Good Luck.