By Lise Olsen - Houston Chronicle
The Houston Chronicle reviewed records in nine appeals that were filed too late. In some cases, lawyers or judges appear to have miscalculated or misunderstood the dates of the deadlines, which generally fall one year after state appeals are concluded. In others, computer failures or human foibles are blamed, records show.
A federal writ of habeas corpus — a right guaranteed by the Constitution — usually gives an inmate a last chance to have the courts review errors or overlooked evidence that could invalidate a conviction or death sentence.
Thurmond, who was convicted of killing his estranged wife and his neighbor, said last week that he had never been told that his federal appeals had been denied by the U.S. District Court in Houston last year and by the 5th Circuit last week.
He said he hadn't seen or heard from his attorney in more than a year.
“So what am I supposed to do now?” he asked.