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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. HOLDING:Affirmed. Among the appellant’s 22 assertions of error is his claim that the trial court erred by denying his challenge for cause to venireperson Deborah Hawkins. The appellant claims Hawkins was challengeable for cause because she demonstrated a bias in favor of capital punishment and against a life sentence in capital cases. The appellant relies on a statement made by Hawkins in her juror questionnaire that “no one should be allowed to live for killing someone else.” The appellant also points to a portion of Hawkins’ voir dire when she became emotional in response to questions about her brother-in-law’s murder, and she stated that she would not want someone with her mindset on the jury if she were on trial for murder. Despite Hawkins’ statement in her juror questionnaire, she repeatedly stated during her voir dire that she could be a fair and impartial juror and would listen to the evidence in answering the issues. She agreed that a life sentence may be appropriate in some circumstances. She stated that she could put any personal biases and experiences aside. When asked by the trial court whether she would follow the law and base her decision solely on the evidence in the case, she agreed that she would. In light of Hawkins’ apparently contradictory responses, the court defers to the trial judge who was best-positioned to evaluate her demeanor and voir dire as a whole. Soria v. State, 933 S.W.2d 46 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), cert. denied, 520 U.S. 1253 (1997). The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling appellant’s challenge for cause to Hawkins. OPINION:Meyers, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Keller, P.J., and Womack, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb, and Cochran, JJ., join. Price and Johnson, JJ., concur. Womack, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Price, Johnson, and Cochran, JJ., joined. CONCURRENCE:“The trial court denied the appellant’s challenge for cause, and the appellant was required to use one of his allotted peremptory challenges on the juror. Today we find no error because we defer to the trial court’s seeing the jurors’ demeanors and hearing the jurors’ voices. Ante, at 18-20. This is a venerable rule for reviewing credibility decisions, to which there is little alternative in a close case. My question is, why permit close cases in selecting jurors? “When a court faces an issue of fact, it must rely on limited sources of information. Only so many witnesses will have relevant information about a contested issue of fact. When evidence conflicts, hard choices must be made. The trial judge is the person whose decision must be respected. But there is ordinarily no such need when it comes to deciding whether a citizen is qualified for jury service. If the question is close, the juror can be sent away.”

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