Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A note on Texas justice

In Texas, it is OK for a prosecutor to refer to the defendant as a "moral vacuum," (McKay v. State, 707 S.W.2d 23, 36 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985)) an "animal," (Burns v. State, 556 S.W.2d 270, 285 (Tex. Crim. App. 1977)), and a "monster," (Rivas v. State, No. 04-06-00375-CR, 2007 WL 1608550, at *6 (Tex. App.—San Antonio June 6, 2007)), but calling the defendant a "hippie" in the closing argument is considered too inflammatory and is grounds for reversing a conviction. Stein v. State, 492 S.W.2d 548 (Tex. Crim. App. 1973)