Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1328
By: Dutton
Criminal Jurisprudence


All convictions in Texas resulting in a sentence of death are automatically
reviewed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  However, after receiving
written notice that a defendant's sentence of death has been upheld by the
court of criminal appeals, the case is returned to the convicting court
which then has the responsibility to set the date on which the defendant
will be executed.  Allowing the court of criminal appeals to set the
execution date, rather than returning the case for  the convicting court to
do so, may be more expedient and efficient for all parties involved.  House
Bill 1328 transfers the responsibility for setting the execution date for a
defendant from the convicting court to the court of criminal appeals. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 1328 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to provide that the
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (court) rather than the convicting court is
responsible for setting, or resetting if necessary, an execution date for
an inmate and to delete provisions accordingly.  The bill also changes all
references to the Department of Corrections to the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice (TDCJ).   
H.B. 1328 requires the court to issue a warrant for the execution of an
inmate whose conviction has been affirmed by the court as soon as
practicable after the date the court denies relief if the inmate timely
files an initial application for a writ of habeas corpus (application) or
after the date any initial application filed by the inmate would be
untimely.  If the court issues a stay of execution in response to a
subsequent application, or if a stay of execution is ordered for any reason
by the court or a federal court, the court is authorized to issue a new
warrant of execution on resolution of all issues.  The bill requires a
warrant to be issued to the executive director of TDCJ and to state the
fact of the conviction and the date of execution.    
H.B. 1328 repeals provisions relating to the scheduling of an execution
date by the convicting court upon receipt of the mandate of affirmance from
the court, the withdrawal or modification of a warrant for execution by the
convicting court, and the competency of a person to be executed.    

These provisions apply only to the execution of an inmate convicted of a
capital offense for whom no execution date exists or an execution date
exists but is subject to a stay of execution  on September 1, 2001.  The
bill prohibits the court from setting an execution date for an inmate that
is before September 1, 2003. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.