IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS NO. AP-76,455
Ex parte ARTHUR LEE WILLIAMS, Applicant ON APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FROM HARRIS COUNTY
THE COURT WRITES IN PART, THAT… In the present proceeding, Stafford [Arthur’s state court appointed attorney] appears to have "fallen on his sword." We count twenty-nine instances recited in his affidavit in which he claims that he performed deficiently at trial, only some of which involve claims that have been filed and set for briefing. It is a serious matter when this Court is confronted with an attorney who so pervasively impeaches his own conduct.
Out of perfectly laudable motives, a conscientious lawyer may be unduly prone toward second-guessing his performance when he has failed to obtain the result for which he had hoped. Or, he may have conducted a harsh but honest self-assessment of his performance.
THE COURT RULED THAT… A defendant is not entitled to perfect or errorless counsel. Nevertheless, when addressing the question of ineffective assistance of counsel, we should take into account an attorney's admission of fault.
AND YET REGARDING ARTHUR’S INITIAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION THE COURT RULED THAT THERE WAS… No Deficient Performance
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS HOUSTON DIVISION In Brief: Williams' federal petition incldes claims from the 1991 petition that Mr. Schaffer did not renew in the 1993 application(7). In 2002, Mr. schaffer informed the state courts that Williams had waived all clims advanced in the 1991 application. respondent argues that Mr. Schaffer's abandonment of those claims means that Williams did not fully and fairly present them to the sate courts for adjudications. Respondent argues that this Court cannot consider the merits of any claims that Williams did not fully exhaust in state court!!!!!!!!!!
Case 4:13-cv-01714 Document 35 Filed in TXSD on 06/28/16 CIVIL ACTION NO. H-13-1714 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Williams' Litigation in State Court
Respondent argues that, while Williams may have presented most of his federal claims in state court, he did not exhaust them as understood by federal law. Serious and difficult questions particularly arise concerning the manner in which Williams litigated issues on state habeas review. Williams filed three separate habeas applications, but not all the issues therein proceeded to adjudication. To summarize, the state habeas record contains: (1) a 1991 state habeas application filed by Williams’ pro bono attorneys; (2) a 1993 application by appointed counsel Mr. Schaffer which renewed some claims from the 1991 application, limited others, and raised new issues; and (3) a 2005 subsequent habeas application advancing a modified Batson claim. Williams’s federal petition closely tracks his 1991 application, but also includes claims contained in the two later state habeas applications. This convoluted state litigation history results in four categories of claims. Each category of claims presents different questions regarding whether Williams sufficiently exhausted his federal grounds for relief.
First, Williams’ federal petition includes claims from the 1991 petition that Mr. Schaffer did notrenew in the 1993 application. In 2002, Mr. Schaffer informed the state courts that Williams had waived all claims advanced in the 1991 application. Respondent argues that Mr. Schaffer’s abandonment of those claims means that Williams did not fully and fairly present them to the state courts for adjudication.
In 2012 we retained Mr. Stanley Schneider for the Federal Appeal!