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Relating to the authority of a court to grant a motion for a new trial in certain criminal cases.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1293 would permit a defendant, with the written consent of the state attorney, to file a motion for a new trial with their convicting court. The state attorney would be permitted to condition their consent of the motion on the defendant pleading guilty, waiving parole eligibility, or waiving their right to an appeal. The motion would have to include an agreed statement of facts. After a hearing, the court would be permitted to grant a new trial in the interest of justice. Both parties would only have the right to appeal an approval for a new trial; if either party withdraws their consent prior to a decision by the court, the court would be required to deny the motion.
Texas Action supports HB 1293 because it would increase post-conviction opportunities for defendants and help to resolve wrongful convictions. Criminal defendants ought to be free to ask for a new trial if the prosecuting attorney agrees with their claim of innocence or unlawfulness. HB 1293 would also free inmates who are actually innocent to regain their liberty through a new trial.