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Texas Code of Criminal Procedure - Article 37.07. Verdict Must Be General; Separate Hearing On Proper Punishment

Legal Research Home > Texas Laws > Code of Criminal Procedure > Texas Code of Criminal Procedure - Article 37.07. Verdict Must Be General; Separate Hearing On Proper Punishment

Art. 37.07. [693] [770] [750] VERDICT MUST BE GENERAL; SEPARATE HEARING ON PROPER PUNISHMENT. Sec. 1. (a) The verdict in every criminal action must be general. When there are special pleas on which a jury is to find they must say in their verdict that the allegations in such pleas are true or untrue. (b) If the plea is not guilty, they must find that the defendant is either guilty or not guilty, and, except as provided in Section 2, they shall assess the punishment in all cases where the same is not absolutely fixed by law to some particular penalty. (c) If the charging instrument contains more than one count or if two or more offenses are consolidated for trial pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Penal Code, the jury shall be instructed to return a finding of guilty or not guilty in a separate verdict as to each count and offense submitted to them. Sec. 2. (a) In all criminal cases, other than misdemeanor cases of which the justice court or municipal court has jurisdiction, which are tried before a jury on a plea of not guilty, the judge shall, before argument begins, first submit to the jury the issue of guilt or innocence of the defendant of the offense or offenses charged, without authorizing the jury to pass upon the punishment to be imposed. If the jury fails to agree on the issue of guilt or innocence, the judge shall declare a mistrial and discharge the jury, and jeopardy does not attach in the case. (b) Except as provided in Article 37.071, if a finding of guilty is returned, it shall then be the responsibility of the judge to assess the punishment applicable to the offense; provided, however, that (1) in any criminal action where the jury may recommend community supervision and the defendant filed his sworn motion for community supervision before the trial began, and (2) in other cases where the defendant so elects in writing before the commencement of the voir dire examination of the jury panel, the punishment shall be assessed by the same jury, except as provided in Section 3(c) of this article and in Article 44.29. If a finding of guilty is returned, the defendant may, with the consent of the attorney for the state, change his election of one who assesses the punishment. (c) Punishment shall be assessed on each count on which a finding of guilty has been returned. Sec. 3. Evidence of prior criminal record in all criminal cases after a finding of guilty. (a)(1) Regardless of the plea and whether the punishment be assessed by the judge or the jury, evidence may be offered by the state and the defendant as to any matter the court deems relevant to sentencing, including but not limited to the prior criminal record of the defendant, his general reputation, his character, an opinion regarding his character, the circumstances of the offense for which he is being tried, and, notwithstanding Rules 404 and 405, Texas Rules of Evidence, any other evidence of an extraneous crime or bad act that is shown beyond a reasonable doubt by evidence to have been committed by the defendant or for which he could be held criminally responsible, regardless of whether he has previously been charged with or finally convicted of the crime or act. A court may consider as a factor in mitigating punishment the conduct of a defendant while participating in a program under Chapter 17 as a condition of release on bail. Additionally, notwithstanding Rule 609(d), Texas Rules of Evidence, and subject to Subsection (h), evidence may be offered by the state and the defendant of an adjudication of delinquency based on a violation by the defendant of a penal law of the grade of: (A) a felony; or (B) a misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail. (2) Notwithstanding Subdivision (1), evidence may not be offered by the state to establish that the race or ethnicity of the defendant makes it likely that the defendant will engage in future criminal conduct. (b) After the introduction of such evidence has been concluded, and if the jury has the responsibility of assessing the punishment, the court shall give such additional written instructions as may be necessary and the order of procedure and the rules governing the conduct of the trial shall be the same as are applicable on the issue of guilt or innocence. (c) If the jury finds the defendant guilty and the matter of punishment is referred to the jury, the verdict shall not be complete until a jury verdict has been rendered on both the guilt or innocence of the defendant and the amount of punishment. In the event the jury shall fail to agree on the issue of punishment, a mistrial shall be declared only in the punishment phase of the trial, the jury shall be discharged, and no jeopardy shall attach. The court shall impanel another jury as soon as practicable to determine the issue of punishment. (d) When the judge assesses the punishment, he may order an investigative report as contemplated in Section 9 of Article 42.12 of this code and after considering the report, and after the hearing of the evidence hereinabove provided for, he shall forthwith announce his decision in open court as to the punishment to be assessed. (e) Nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting the admissibility of extraneous offenses on the question of guilt or innocence. (f) In cases in which the matter of punishment is referred to a jury, either party may offer into evidence the availability of community corrections facilities serving the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed. (g) On timely request of the defendant, notice of intent to introduce evidence under this article shall be given in the same manner required by Rule 404(b), Texas Rules of Evidence. If the attorney representing the state intends to introduce an extraneous crime or bad act that has not resulted in a final conviction in a court of record or a probated or suspended sentence, notice of that intent is reasonable only if the notice includes the date on which and the county in which the alleged crime or bad act occurred and the name of the alleged victim of the crime or bad act. The requirement under this subsection that the attorney representing the state give notice applies only if the defendant makes a timely request to the attorney representing the state for the notice. (h) Regardless of whether the punishment will be assessed by the judge or the jury, neither the state nor the defendant may offer before sentencing evidence that the defendant plans to undergo an orchiectomy. (i) Evidence of an adjudication for conduct that is a violation of a penal law of the grade of misdemeanor punishable by confinement in jail is admissible only if the conduct upon which the adjudication is based occurred on or after January 1, 1996. Sec. 4. (a) In the penalty phase of the trial of a felony case in which the punishment is to be assessed by the jury rather than the court, if the offense of which the jury has found the defendant guilty is listed in Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, of this code or if the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, of this code, unless the defendant has been convicted of a capital felony the court shall charge the jury in writing as follows: "Under the law applicable in this case, the defendant, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, may earn time off the period of incarceration imposed through the award of good conduct time. Prison authorities may award good conduct time to a prisoner who exhibits good behavior, diligence in carrying out prison work assignments, and attempts at rehabilitation. If a prisoner engages in misconduct, prison authorities may also take away all or part of any good conduct time earned by the prisoner. "It is also possible that the length of time for which the defendant will be imprisoned might be reduced by the award of parole. "Under the law applicable in this case, if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he will not become eligible for parole until the actual time served equals one-half of the sentence imposed or 30 years, whichever is less, without consideration of any good conduct time he may earn. If the defendant is sentenced to a term of less than four years, he must serve at least two years before he is eligible for parole. Eligibility for parole does not guarantee that parole will be granted. "It cannot accurately be predicted how the parole law and good conduct time might be applied to this defendant if he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, because the application of these laws will depend on decisions made by prison and parole authorities. "You may consider the existence of the parole law and good conduct time. However, you are not to consider the extent to which good conduct time may be awarded to or forfeited by this particular defendant. You are not to consider the manner in which the parole law may be applied to this particular defendant." (b) In the penalty phase of the trial of a felony case in which the punishment is to be assessed by the jury rather than the court, if the offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree, if a prior conviction has been alleged for enhancement of punishment as provided by Section 12.42(b), (c), or (d), Penal Code, or if the offense is a felony not designated as a capital felony or a felony of the first, second, or third degree and the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for the offense is longer than 60 years, unless the offense of which the jury has found the defendant guilty is listed in Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, of this code or the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, of this code, the court shall charge the jury in writing as follows: "Under the law applicable in this case, the defendant, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, may earn time off the period of incarceration imposed through the award of good conduct time. Prison authorities may award good conduct time to a prisoner who exhibits good behavior, diligence in carrying out prison work assignments, and attempts at rehabilitation. If a prisoner engages in misconduct, prison authorities may also take away all or part of any good conduct time earned by the prisoner. "It is also possible that the length of time for which the defendant will be imprisoned might be reduced by the award of parole. "Under the law applicable in this case, if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he will not become eligible for parole until the actual time served plus any good conduct time earned equals one-fourth of the sentence imposed or 15 years, whichever is less. Eligibility for parole does not guarantee that parole will be granted. "It cannot accurately be predicted how the parole law and good conduct time might be applied to this defendant if he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, because the application of these laws will depend on decisions made by prison and parole authorities. "You may consider the existence of the parole law and good conduct time. However, you are not to consider the extent to which good conduct time may be awarded to or forfeited by this particular defendant. You are not to consider the manner in which the parole law may be applied to this particular defendant." (c) In the penalty phase of the trial of a felony case in which the punishment is to be assessed by the jury rather than the court, if the offense is punishable as a felony of the second or third degree, if a prior conviction has been alleged for enhancement as provided by Section 12.42(a), Penal Code, or if the offense is a felony not designated as a capital felony or a felony of the first, second, or third degree and the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for the offense is 60 years or less, unless the offense of which the jury has found the defendant guilty is listed in Section 3g(a)(1), Article 42.12, of this code or the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, of this code, the court shall charge the jury in writing as follows: "Under the law applicable in this case, the defendant, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, may earn time off the period of incarceration imposed through the award of good conduct time. Prison authorities may award good conduct time to a prisoner who exhibits good behavior, diligence in carrying out prison work assignments, and attempts at rehabilitation. If a prisoner engages in misconduct, prison authorities may also take away all or part of any good conduct time earned by the prisoner. "It is also possible that the length of time for which the defendant will be imprisoned might be reduced by the award of parole. "Under the law applicable in this case, if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he will not become eligible for parole until the actual time served plus any good conduct time earned equals one-fourth of the sentence imposed. Eligibility for parole does not guarantee that parole will be granted. "It cannot accurately be predicted how the parole law and good conduct time might be applied to this defendant if he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, because the application of these laws will depend on decisions made by prison and parole authorities. "You may consider the existence of the parole law and good conduct time. However, you are not to consider the extent to which good conduct time may be awarded to or forfeited by this particular defendant. You are not to consider the manner in which the parole law may be applied to this particular defendant." (d) This section does not permit the introduction of evidence on the operation of parole and good conduct time laws. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1967, 60th Leg., p. 1739, ch. 659, Sec. 22, eff. Aug. 28, 1967; Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 971, ch. 399, Sec. 2(A), eff. Jan. 1, 1974; Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1126, ch. 426, art. 3, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 1973. Sec. 3(d) amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2466, ch. 639, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Sec. 2(b) amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 291, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 685, Sec. 8(b), eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Sec. 4 added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Sec. 2(b) amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 179, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 385, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 386, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Sec. 4 amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 66, Sec. 1, eff. May 6, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1101, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 103, Sec. 1; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 4.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Sec. 3(f) added by Acts 1990, 71st Leg., 6th C.S., ch. 25, Sec. 30, eff. June 18, 1990; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 5.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Sec. 3(d) amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 5.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Sec. 3(g) added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 5.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Sec. 4 amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 5.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 82, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Sec. 3(h) added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 144, Sec. 2, eff. May 20, 1997; Sec. 3(h) added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1086, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; relettered as Sec. 3(i) by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(7), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Sec. 3(a) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 585, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Sec. 2(a) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 660, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 2(b) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 660, Sec. 1 eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 3(c) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 660, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2005; Sec. 3(g) amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 4.003, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.

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