Job descriptionThe nine-member Texas Court of Appeals is the highest court for criminal (not civil or juvenile) cases in the state. Term is six years.
Duties
  • Reviews decisions on criminal cases appealed from lower courts. The court may also decide not to review cases.

  • Reviews appeals cases that involve sentencing for capital punishment or the denial of bail.

Note: criminal law deals with behavior that is an offense against the public, society, or the state—even if the victim is an individual. Examples include murder, assault, kidnapping, arson, and drunken driving.
Annual salary$168,000

Who’s Running?

Tina Clinton
Website: https://donorbox.org/judgetinaclinton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudgeTinaClinton/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudgeTClinton
Instagram: @JudgeTinaClinton
Email: judgetinaclinton@gmail.com
Democrat
Kevin Patrick Yeary (incumbent)
Website: https://www.judgeyeary.com
Email: info@judgeyeary.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudgeKevinPatrickYeary/
Republican

Recent News Articles

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Tina Clinton
(1.) In addition to my time as a prosecutor and defense attorney, my fourteen years of judicial experience on the trial courts (municipal courts, county courts and district courts) give me the experience and understanding that mere reading of a transcript cannot impart. I have dealt with lawyers, victims, defendants, the families of both sides, witnesses, officers and experts first hand and that experience gives me a crucial understanding of our criminal justice system and trials. I have tried as a lawyer and judge over 400 trials from pro se defendants to capital murder cases. (2.) I can help restore trust in government, specifically the courts, by showing it can look like the citizenry of Texas. Racial diversity in judges is important because it shows that power should be and can be held jointly by all groups and not a singular group. (3.) Diversity of experience is needed at the highest criminal courts. Life experiences matter. As a first generation immigrant, for whom English is a second language, my presence on the highest criminal courts can give context and understanding to many issues before the Courts. As a mother of a child with special learning needs, my experiences are valuable.
Ademas de mi experiecia como fiscal y abogado Defensor, mis catorce anos de experiencia juridica en las cortes (corte municipal, cortes del condado y cortes de distrito) me da la experiencia y el entendimiento de lo que conlleva un juicio a parte de simplemente leer un manuscrito del juicio. Yo he trabajado con abogados, victimas, acusados, familiars de ambos lados, testigos, oficiales y expertos en sus campos de primera mano y estas experiencias me dan un entendimiento crucial de lo que es la justiciar penal y los juicios. Yo he litigado como abogado y juez mas de 400 juicios con litigantes pro se y tambien asesinatos capitales. Yo puedo devolver la confianza en el gobierno y especificamente las cortes, haciendo que el sistema juridico sea tan diverso como los ciudadanos de Texas. La diversidad racial, en las cortes y sobre todo en los tribunales, demuestra que el poder puede ser compartido de una forma equitativa y no por un grupo en especifico. La experiencia y los golpes que te da la vida son de suma importancia para crear un sistema judicial que sea acorde con los individuos que son procesados en ellos. Por ende, los tribunales deben estar compuestos de una diversidad racial y de genero que refleje los diferentes sectores de la sociedad, sobre todo en los tribunales de alta instancia. Como un imigrante de primera generacion, para quien el ingles era un Segundo idioma, mi presencia en los tribunales de alta instancia le puede dar substancia y entendimiento.
Kevin Patrick Yeary
2. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Tina Clinton
(1) Taking the time to write opinions such as concurring or dissenting opinions that give the criminal justice system and legal community a view that may not be voiced in the majority opinion.
(2) Systematic increase of review of writs and discretionary cases
(3) Increasing funds of education grants for judges, lawyers, law enforcement officers and law students on issues such as actual innocence, implicit bias training, writ training, technology, access to justice, indigent defense and more.
1. Dedicarle el tiempo a las opiniones emitidas por el tribunal, tanto en las concurrentes como las minonitarias, por que eso le da una voz al Sistema penal y a la comunidad legal diferente a la opinion mayoritaria.
2. Aumento sistematico de los decretos judiciales y casos discrecionales.
3. Aumentar los fondos de educacion para los jueces, abogados, oficiales penales y estudiantes de derecho en temas relacionados a Inocencia real, entrenamiento de prejuicios implicitos, entrenamiento de escritos judiciales, acceso a la justicia, defensa de personas sin recursos economicos, etc.
Kevin Patrick Yeary
3. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY?
Tina Clinton
I believe that a judge must always seek the truth and therefore, justice. I believe that the Constitution is a living document that grows and adapts to new circumstances. After all, the original Constitution has been amended and has grown literally since it's origination. I also believe that the Courts are an independent third branch of government and not an arm of either the executive or the legislative branches. I believe in the election of judges so that the judicial branch can stay an independent branch rather than be beholden to the executive branch that usually appoints.
Yo creo que los jueces deben buscar la verdad ante todo y por ende la justiciar. Yo creo que la constitucion es un document viviente que se adapta a las nuevas circumstancias. Despues de todo la constitucion original a sido enmendada y crecido desde su incepcion. Soy de la opinion que los tribunales son un organismo independiente y no una mera rama del ejecutivo y legislativo y por ende es la tercera de nuestro Sistema gubernamental. Creo que los jueces deben ser electos y no nombrados, para que la rama judicial pueda permanecer independiente de la ejecutiva, que es la que normalmente elige los jueces.
Kevin Patrick Yeary
4. WHAT ASPECTS OF THE COURT'S WORK HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC? ARE THERE ANY CHANGES THAT ARE LIKELY TO BECOME PERMANENT?
Tina Clinton
The lack of jury trials for the criminal trial courts has been a tremendous loss but this will not be permanent. In person hearings have been limited by orders of the high courts. Therefore, we hold hearings of all kinds by videoconferencing. We allow lawyers, witnesses, court reporter, prosecutors, officers and bonded defendants to appear remotely for most hearings with a few exceptions. We stream the hearings inside of the courtroom or on YouTube depending on whether the Court is open to the public or not. The parties all sign documents digitally. All these tools have allowed us to hold over 2,500 hearings in the last 6 months. While we will keep tools such as digital signatures and videoconferencing to giving access to the courts for limited types of hearings for efficiency, there is an importance to seeing people in person. I believe the Court must give the public, the person accused and others the opportunity to see the Court directly in important of hearings.
La falta de juicios por Jurado en el Sistema penal ha sido una Perdida tremenda que no va a ser permanente. Las audiencias presenciales han sido limitadas por ordenes de los tribunales de alta instancia. Por ende, estamos hacienda audiencias de todo tipo en formas de videoconferencia. Permitimos a los abogados, testigos, tecnografos, fiscales, oficiales y acusados comparecer de forma remota en los tribunales, con unas pequenas excepciones. Transmitimos las audiencias dentro de los tribunales por “YouTube” dependiendo de si la corte esta abierta al publico o no. Todas las partes firman los documentos digitalmente. Estas herramientas nos han permitido hacer mas de 2,500 casos en los ultimos seis meses y aun cuando vamos a continuar permitiendo firmas digitales y videoconferencias en cierto tipos de casos para eficiencia, si hay una importancia de ver a los comparecientes en persona.
Kevin Patrick Yeary
5. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Tina Clinton
I am a 3-term elected Democratic judge that has 25 years of experience in Criminal Law. I have been a prosecutor, defense attorney, municipal judge, county court judge and state felony criminal court judge. I currently sit on the oldest criminal district court in Texas and I am the first person of color on this bench. In November 2020, if Texans honor me by selecting me for the highest criminal court in Texas, I will be the first Asian American to ever sit on this bench in its history. We will break barriers and glass ceilings in the criminal justice system in this historic election.
Yo he servido tres terminos como juez del Partido democrata que tiene 25 anos de experiencia en derecho penal. He ejercido como fiscal, abogado Defensor, juez municipal, juez del condado y juez estatal en casos penales. Actualmente, precido sobre la corte de distrito mas Antigua en Texas y soy la primera persona de color en esta corte en especifico. En noviembre del 2020 si los Tejanos me dan el honor de ser elegida para el tribunal penal de mayor instancia en Texas, yo sere el primer americano asiatico de presidir en esta corte en su historia. Vamos a romper barreras en el Sistema judicial con esta historica eleccion.
Kevin Patrick Yeary