Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:While driving a stolen car during a high-speed chase with police, Clinton Bradley White collided with another car, killing its driver. Prosecutors charged White with felony murder. The indictment alleged in one paragraph that White caused the victim’s death during the commission of the state-jail felony of unauthorized use of a vehicle, and in another paragraph it alleged that White caused the victim’s death during the commission of the state-jail felony of evading arrest or detention in a vehicle. A jury convicted appellant of felony murder under Texas Penal Code �19.02(b)(3), which states: “A person commits an offense if he commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.” The jury charge authorized the jury to convict appellant if it unanimously found that he caused the victim’s death during the commission of either one of these two felonies without having to unanimously find which felony appellant was committing. White appealed, claiming for the first time that the charge violated his right to a unanimous jury verdict. The 5th Court of Appeals rejected this claim because the two felonies alleged in the indictment were the “manner and means of committing felony murder.” The Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) granted review to determine whether the requirement of a unanimous jury verdict includes a requirement of unanimity on what predicate felony the defendant committed in order to be convicted pursuant to Texas Penal Code �19.02(b)(3). HOLDING:Affirmed. The language of �19.02(b)(3), the court stated, indicates that the prohibited conduct about which a jury must be unanimous is that the defendant commit a felony, not commit one specific felony out of a combination of felonies. The court therefore held that when an indictment alleges multiple felonies in a prosecution under �19.02(b)(3), those specifically named felonies are not elements about which a jury must be unanimous. These felonies constitute the manner or means that make up the felony element of �19.02(b)(3). The court further held that dispensing with jury unanimity on the felonies alleged in this case does not violate due process because these felonies are “basically morally and conceptually equivalent.” OPINION:Hervey, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which Keller, P.J., Meyers, Price, Keasler, Holcomb and Cochran, J.J., joined. CONCURRENCE:Womack and Johnson, J.J., concurred.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.