You all understood the batson issues i have in my case, i.e how the prosecutors racially excluded African Americans from serving on my jury, However there is a more serious issue in my case, that we are trying to address to the courts.


If you remember, my state habeus attorney got several claims, that amounts to innocence claims, procedurally barred by the courts. I had written him severel letters over the course of the year that he was appointed to my case,begging him to file several issues. He didn't.


We end up going to San Antonio for an evidentiary hearing. Before we attended that hearing, i was so desparate to get some of these claims filed that i told him that i was willing to compromise having all of them filed if he only filed 2 or 3 of them, he told me that he would file those claims, by the time the hearing was over he didnt say anything to the judge about what we had previously agreed upon. As the balif tried to pull me out of the courtroom, I asked my attorney what was up. He told the balif that he was finished with me. I refused to leave until he answered my question. The balif was pulling on me, then my lawyer followed behind us and on into the chambers located through the side doors in the courtroom. Thats when i immediatly compiled all my carbon copies of my letters to him and fashioned it into a petition, and sent it onto the judge certified mail/return receipt. But the Judge ignored the petition completly, not a word about it.


I sent it to the CCA who also ignored it. I filed 2 grievances to the state bar of texas, and they felt that he was sufficiently representing my legal interest, and refered me back to the court. When my federal attorney tried to file the claims that he hadn't my previous attorney that is, the federal court procedurally barred the claims because they weren't preserved.


This is a serious problem that plagues, Texas death penalty, It is so prevelent that I was told to prepare for it when i first arrived to deathrow, and even wrote about it. This is an issue that has slowly been building momentum in the media. The reason why there are so may cases like mine where state habeas attorneys botch appeals, getting claims procedural barred, is because there is a void in Texas law that offers prisoners like myself no remedy, when our representation fails to represent our legal interest. The court ignored me because im only allowed to communicate with them through my representation. However my case demands that the following question be answered.


What is a prisoner supposed to do when he is being ignored by his attorney, the courts, and the State Bar?


My hands were tied and this procedural bar cant be said to be my fault.


Im currently having my attorney write an article on this void in Texas Law that allows these state habeas attorneys to botch appeals and through their failure to file certain claims get them procedurally barred.


There would be justification for an attorney to refuse to file certain claims that their client asks of them if the claims were frivolous, however Im a client that comprehends the legal ramifications of persuing various legal strategies. Further there was and is evidence in the record that supports the claims that I was trying to get him to file, so it can't be said that the issues i tried to raise was frivolous.


We have an opportunity to make procedural bars the next "Law of Parties" issue in our attack against the death penalty and capital punishment. Our arguments are solid...


The ball is in your court, There is not much that i can do now. Ive been fighting this for a long time with little success. The right people are not hearing the right arguments. As you know time is of the essence. And everybody has a role they need to play much more agressively. Otherwise I will be another statistic that the anti death penalty movement will be using to demonstrate that the death penalty needs to be abolished, i would much rather be on this side of the argument.


In Solidarity

Reg "omari" Blanton

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