American Journal of Criminal Law
Garrett's disturbing outcome is the most egregious in a series of decisions promulgated by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals during the past decade. The result is the product of a sufficiency of evidence analysis in which appellate courts compare the evidence presented to the jury charge alone. Such a sufficiency review exceeds the constitutional safeguards announced by the United States Supreme Court. While a state may provide greater rights than those protected by the federal constitution, doing so in this situation represents poor policy and ill-conceived law. This article will explore various methods for analyzing sufficiency of evidence and trace the evolution of Texas cases culminating in Garrett. Finally, the authors will suggest an alternative analysis that is consistent with constitutional due process and avoids the pitfalls of the current scheme.
Malinda L. Seymore & Mark Thielman,
Appellate Reversal for Insufficient Evidence In Criminal Cases: The Interaction of the Proof and the Jury Charge,
Am. J. Crim. L.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/17