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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Hoping to prevent the jury from discovering the exact sex offense that made him subject to the registration requirement, the appellant offered to stipulate that he had previously been convicted of an offense that required him to register as a sex offender, without specifying what that offense was. The state responded that it needed the judgment because it showed appellant’s registration conditions (as well as his signature and fingerprints) and appellant’s defense was going to be that he did not know he had to register. In reply, defense counsel requested that the name of the offense be redacted from the release papers. The trial court refused to accept the stipulation and allowed appellant a running objection. The prosecution referred to the attempted indecency with a child conviction at voir dire, in the reading of the indictment, through witness testimony, and in closing arguments. The 7th Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in permitting the state to read the portion of the indictment referring to the prior conviction. HOLDING:Affirmed. The 7th Court addressed the merits of the Tamez v. State claim with respect to the indictment, and held that the prior-conviction portion of the indictment was properly read to the jury. Appellant does not dispute that holding. The appellant asserts that the 7th Court erred in concluding that any trial court error was harmless. The state’s repetition of the name of the offense at various stages of the trial was not harmful because: 1. the jury would have known of, and been reminded of, the nature of the offense even if the trial court had accepted the stipulation and prevented mention of the name of the offense at any stage of the trial except the indictment; 2. the character conformity inference of the prior conviction was not particularly strong, 3. the conviction itself was for one of the less serious offenses subject to the registration statute, and 4. the evidence supporting the conviction was substantial. The court concludes that the error, if any, did not influence the jury, or had but slight effect. OPINION:Keller, P.J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous court. Womack, J. filed a concurring opinion. CONCURRENCE:Womack, J. “I join the Court’s opinion which addresses only the issue of harmless error, and which, it seems to me, is limited to the facts of this case. The Court has not addressed the issue of whether there was error. This was prudent. For one thing, a decision of that issue would not affect the judgment in this case.” (footnote omitted) “For another, the appellant conceded in this court a very important point that was presented in this case: whether the law requires the State to read everything in this indictment. I join the court’s opinion with the understanding that this point remains undecided.” (footnote omitted)

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