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Texas execution delayed due to questions of mental competency

To be convicted of certain criminal charges in Texas, the state must prove that the accused possessed the requisite mental intent to commit the crime. Thus, if an individual is mentally incompetent at the time of the crime, he or she may not have intended to do the act. It is for this reason that a mental insanity defense is permissible in Texas. In fact, in 2002, Texas' highest court ruled that a mentally incompetent person cannot be executed at all. These laws, which protect a mentally incompetent accused, were recently put into action in the state.

Credibility of key witness in Clemens case called into question

As previous posts have mentioned, drug charges can result in serious consequences if the accused is convicted. Charges such as drug possession, trafficking and distribution counts may lead to large fines and jail time. In some instances, prosecutors will rely on witnesses to testify against the accused.

Former Houston Rockets forward charged with felony

As previous posts have discussed, any criminal conviction, from a misdemeanor to a felony, has the potential for long term consequences. A criminal history makes it harder to get a job, rent an apartment and obtain custody of children. Further, sometimes mere criminal allegations, particularly for public figures, can cause substantial reputation damage. For public figures or high profile cases, often the court of public opinion can do as much damage as the legal system.

State self-defense laws can be vital in family violence cases

"Stand your ground" laws like the one at issue in the Trayvon Martin incident have come under substantial scrutiny as of late. The laws permit an individual to use self-defense, including sometimes deadly force, during a fight, without having to worry about an arrest. Texas has a similar law, the Castle Doctrine, which allows an individual to use deadly force when attacked on one's property. Recently, some Texas law makers have been fighting to have this law appealed.

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