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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In 1993, a Galveston County jury convicted John Joseph Reyes of sexual assault of a child under Texas Penal Code �22.011, assessing his punishment at confinement for 16 years and a $10,000 fine. The 1st Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction on direct appeal. On appeal, Reyes challenged the convicting court’s denial of his request for an independent expert. The court of appeals dismissed his appeal on the ground that it constituted a collateral attack for which no appeal was authorized, because Reyes’ request for an independent expert was not a finding within the scope of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Arts. 64.03 or 64.04. In August 2001, Reyes moved for post-conviction DNA testing pursuant to Chapter 64 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and also requested a court-appointed independent expert to assist him in reviewing the test results. The convicting court granted his motion for the DNA testing but denied his request for an independent expert. In July 2002, the court entered findings that the results of the DNA tests were not favorable to Reyes. In January 2005, Reyes filed a post-conviction application for a writ of habeas corpus seeking relief on the following grounds: 1. The trial court erred in failing to appoint an independent expert to assist the defense; 2. The 1st Court erred in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear Reyes’ appeal on this point; 3. The 1st Court erred in holding that Reyes’ request for an independent expert was a finding not within the scope of Arts. 64.03, 64.04, or 64.05, and thus one for which no appeal was authorized; 4. Reyes was denied due process when his original state writ application and supplemental state writ application(s) were improperly dismissed for abuse of the writ; 5. The prosecution acted improperly when it knowingly withheld exculpatory evidence during the post-conviction DNA testing process; 6. Reyes received ineffective assistance of counsel both in his Chapter 64 proceedings as well as in the guilt/innocence and punishment stages of his trial; 7. The state failed to establish the scientific reliability of DNA testing and test results through a Daubert/Kelly hearing prior to the trial court’s finding that those results were not favorable to Reyes; and 8. The DNA test results were legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court’s findings that they were unfavorable to Reyes. HOLDING:The application for habeas relief was dismissed. In October 2005, the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) ordered Reyes’ application filed and set for submission to determine whether challenges to Chapter 64 proceedings are cognizable in Art. 11.07 habeas proceedings. Shortly after this order, however, CCA issued two decisions expressly holding that the post-conviction writ of habeas corpus is not available for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in Chapter 64 DNA proceedings: Ex Parte Baker, 185 S.W.3d 894 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006); and Ex Parte Suhre, 185 S.W.3d 898 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006). Although Reyes made several claims in addition to that of ineffectiveness of counsel, the court stated that Reyes recognizes that the thrust of Ex Parte Baker and Ex Parte Suhre is that challenges to Chapter 64 proceedings are not cognizable in Art. 11.07 habeas proceedings. Therefore, the court stated, Reyes conceded that the CCA has already addressed the issue. Because the basis of the CCA’s decisions in Baker and Suhre was that proceedings under Chapter 64 do not themselves challenge an inmate’s conviction or sentence, the CCA dismissed Reyes’ application for habeas corpus relief. OPINION:Holcomb, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous court.

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