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MADDEN V. TEXAS, 498 U. S. 1301 (1991)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Madden v. Texas, 498 U.S. 1301 (1991)

Madden v. Texas

Nos. A-626 to A-628, and A-635

Decided Feb. 20, 1991

498 U.S. 1301


Good cause is found to grant 30-day extensions of time to file petitions for writs of certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas in Nos. A-627, A-628, and A-635 where applicants, who are under death sentences, have requested the opportunity to find replacement counsel following the withdrawal of their appellate counsel. Such an excuse does not automatically justify an extension of time without regard to its basis or predictability. There is even greater need to reject an automatic rule in capital cases, because a lawyer should not be burdened with the knowledge that his client's appeal could be lengthened if he withdraws from the case. Nonetheless, good cause is found as to these petitions, since JUSTICE SCALIA only became the Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit at the beginning of the current Term,k since he has not had the opportunity in such capacity to set forth his views on the application of the "good cause" standard, and since his views may be more restrictive than what the Circuit bar has been accustomed to. However, there is inadequate cause to extend the time limit in No. A-626, because it would extend the filing period beyond applicant Madden's scheduled execution date. Such an extension is either futile or will disrupt the State's orderly administration of justice and, thus, is not an appropriate action for a Circuit Justice to take.

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