Penry v. Texas, 515 U.S. 1304 (1995)

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Opinion in Chambers


on application for extension of time

No. A-180. Decided August 28, 1995

An application for extension of time in which to file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is denied. The reasons for an extension offered by counsel—a voluminous record below, the breadth of errors committed below, and counsel of record's anticipated absence shortly before the filing date—fall short of what constitutes "good cause" to support such a disfavored application. All applicants would benefit from additional time to prepare a petition for certiorari. It is inconceivable that counsel here could have filed their 375-page Court of Criminal Appeals' brief, detailing 132 allegations of error, without acquiring considerable familiarity with the record. Counsel asked for reconsideration and thus had six months to review the Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion. Finally, counsel's planned absences should affect neither the degree of preparation afforded a client's case nor the orderly administration of this Court's deadlines.

Justice Scalia, Circuit Justice.

I have before me an application for extension of time in which to file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas. Counsel seek a 59-day extension of the filing deadline "because of the voluminous record below and the breadth of errors that were committed below which warrant review by this Court." Counsel explain: "The petitioner's brief to the Court of Criminal Appeal[s] of Texas discussed 132 points of error and is 375 pages in length. The State's brief is 248 pages in length. The judgment affirming petitioner's conviction and death sentence is 76 pages with 6 additional pages of concurrences." The application offers one additional reason for the extension request: "[C]ounsel of record will be out of his office during the entire week before September 5, 1995—the day that the time to file the petition will expire."

Our Rules provide that "[a] petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment in any case, civil or criminal, entered

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