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Between early 1991, when Judge Fortunato Benavides was appointed to replace Judge Marvin O. Teague, and July 1, 1992, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decided 251 cases where the ultimate question at stake was whether or not an accused individual would receive punishment for his or her alleged wrongdoing. While the sitting judges unanimously decided roughly one-half of these cases, 133 cases resulted in one or more dissenting votes. Furthermore, a margin of two votes or less decided thirty-five cases.

The purpose of this Article is to analyze and, if possible, explain the voting behavior of the members of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from early 1991 to July 1, 1992. In so doing, the Article briefly examines the overall voting patterns of the court, as well as the voting record of each justice with respect to all 251 cases in the broader sample. The focus, however, will be on the 133 nonunanimous cases, and particularly on those which the court decided by two votes or less.

Publication Citation

34 S. Tex. L. Rev. 1 (1993).