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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Pursuant to Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the trial court clerk transmitted to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) the application for writ of habeas corpus. Applicant was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment. The El Paso Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction in 1998. Applicant contends that his appellate counsel rendered ineffective assistance, because counsel failed to timely advise him of his right to petition for discretionary review pro se. Counsel filed his original notification letter sent to applicant informing him his conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. The letter did not inform applicant of his right to file a pro se petition for discretionary review. The trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law that appellate counsel did not render deficient performance. HOLDING:The CCA disagreed with the trial court. It concluded appellate counsel failed to timely notify applicant of his right to petition for discretionary review pro se. The CCA found that applicant is entitled to the opportunity to file an out-of-time petition for discretionary review. The CCA directed the applicant to file his petition for discretionary review with the 8th Court of Appeals within 30 days of this opinion. OPINION:Per curiam. CONCURRENCE:Cochran, J. “Eight years elapsed between the time applicant’s conviction was affirmed and the time at which he may file a petition for discretionary review. Normally, laches should bar any relief on this claim. Here, however, applicant is not at fault. But someone in the El Paso County criminal justice system is. Applicant filed his application for habeas corpus relief eight months after his conviction for aggravated assault was affirmed. This Court received that application, along with the State’s response and the trial court’s findings, on July 12, 2006. One has to wonder what rabbit hole this writ fell into for almost eight years. “Our Texas post-conviction habeas corpus statute provides for reasonable time limits in which the State may respond to a habeas corpus application . . . . There is, under current law, no sanction for the failure to comply with the reasonable statutory time limits. But if our criminal justice system cannot do a better job in following the statute and ensuring that the Great Writ remains a”speedy and effectual’ remedy for constitutional violations under current law, the Texas Legislature may find it necessary to do it for us.”

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