The state seeks the issuance of a writ of mandamus to require a trial judge to submit the entire case — both guilt and punishment — to the jury after the defendant pleaded guilty to the jury. The judge stated that he was not inclined to make a deadly-weapon finding so that he could have "all options available." Once a defendant pleads guilty before a jury, the law provides that the trial becomes unitary, requiring the jury to be instructed to return a verdict of guilty and to assess punishment. The writ is conditionally granted. Court of Criminal Appeals, No. AP-76,916, 11-14-2012.
In Re: State Ex Rel. Tharp
Tex. Crim. App.
November 20, 2012
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