On Monday January 25, 2021, the long-awaited evidentiary hearing in the case of Clinton Young will take place. Both the defense and the State have agreed to only litigate the fifth application for a writ of habeas corpus during this hearing, which contains claims in relation to Assistant District Attorney for Midland County Ralph Petty.
What is the reason for this hearing?
The prosecutor who worked on Clinton Young’s trial, Ralph Petty, was secretly working as a paid law clerk for two judges who presided over Clinton’s case. In his capacity as a law clerk, Petty drafted rulings and advisory memos for the judges that were used for the judges’ orders and rulings in Clinton’s case. The question during the upcoming hearing on January 25th is whether that constitutes a conflict of interest or a violation of the separation of powers. If so, the question becomes what relief Clinton should be entitled to. The current DA on the case, Philip Mack Furlow, has stipulated to most of the facts in relation to the Petty claim. This means that the hearing will be very short (possibly only one day) and only a small number of witnesses will be heard.
What witnesses will be heard during the hearing?
During the hearing on Monday the following witnesses will be questioned:
* Ralph Petty;
* Russel Malm (attorney for the Midland Court);
* Paul Williams (Clinton’s trial counsel);
These witnesses might be questioned:
* Laura Nodolf (was the DA until Petty’s conduct was discovered);
What will happen after the hearing?
After the hearing on Monday, both parties will draft proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and send these to the judge for his consideration. The judge will then draft his own findings of fact and conclusions of law (meaning he will answer the question whether Clinton’s conviction should be vacated and if he should be getting a new trial) and send it to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for their consideration. The judge can only submit a recommendation; the Texas CCA will make the final decision. The CCA does not have a deadline for their rulings. It is expected that this can take at least several months, maybe even a year.
The hearing will take place via Zoom and it will be live broadcasted on YouTube. Clinton will join via a Zoom connection at the Polunsky unit. Per Clinton’s request, we would like to give you the opportunity to watch the livestream. If you are interested in receiving the link for the hearing, please sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page or send us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will send you a link to watch the livestream on Monday January 25, right before the hearing starts. The hearing will start 11:00 am Texas time (18:00 hrs. Dutch time) and is expected to last all day.