After conviction a convict is summoned back to court. He is appointed an Appeal Attorney to ONLY represent him during Direct Appeal. On this stage one cannot complain about INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE of a Trial Lawyer. Usually, as in my case, he complained about insufficient evidence.
Seemingly after 25 years of struggling to understand the rules of the Appels Court and reviewing other inmates direct Appeal Briefs, all these supposed Direct Appeal Attorneys file these same ground – basically plug in names to the same application. Guess what? Appointed attorneys get their pay from the county. Where I’m from, virtually all cases are assigned to the same attorneys. This racket/hustle has went on for years and years with one occassional reversed conviction from Angelina County. The baddy – baddy system stops here. From that point we are on our own but we are given 15 days to file a PDR to the Criminal Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas. 15 days for a totally ignorant person to file another Legal Brief?
Usually, in normal circumstances ‘if’ you have money to pay for an attorney, the lawyer will keep the fight going. But I am broke/crippled financially and my family is too poor to pay for any lawyer and to TOP IT ALL OFF, we have 15 days to figure it out. Normally, I would make legal adjustments using the very same errors to the Court of Appeals. After the denial, there is something our illustrious Bill Clinton signed into office for and which is called the ANTI-TERRORIST-ACT or AEDPA, you have basically one year to get your case to Federal Court. Ignorant – poorly educated, one must prepare a Federal Legal Brief in Federal Court basically fighting the Attorney General with federal law. Really?
In virtually every instance the D.A., a horney General and such, will always claim that what you are claiming is without merit, filed wrong or something. When you STOP filing, the time – one year – is ticking away. Then you must file a Notice of Appeals to the 5th Circuit; once you file the time stops. Once they rule, you have to prepare a Legal Brief to the Supreme Court correctly; if it’s not correct, your appeal will not be allowed. Basically let’s reverse this: JUSTICE IS BLIND and if you are thinking of breaking the law, such as robbery, aggravated assault of children or murder, be prepared to be tossed in the blender of the Appeal Process.
Honestly, it has taken me 25 years, two college degrees, multiple failed attempts to come close to understanding how to fight the system. By the time you get close to figuring out the process, one has screwed up his/her chances, lost hope or just given up completely. Then one rely on the Parole Process where MOST will receive MULTIPLE SET-OFFS before going home. These processes are meant to BREAK YOUR MIND. Compile that on top of surviving prison life – deaths in the family – loneliness – and the real pain of losing everything … it’s incredibly difficult to survive intact – giving up, and giving out is the norm. I guess I’m just not normal.
Derrick L. Griffin, 28-01-2021