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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4

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  • Quanah Parker (L)

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    Kevin Patrick Yeary (R) Appellate Attorney - Prosecutor

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in Texas:

Occupation/main source of income:

Education (include all degrees):

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

Previous public offices sought or held:

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Who are your top three contributors?

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings? If so, please explain:

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy? If so, please explain:

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

What judge or attorney do you most admire and why?

Why are you running for this office?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

As a judge (if applicable), have any complaints been filed against you to with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct? If so, please explain the disposition of those complaints.

As an attorney, have you had any grievances filed against you with the State Bar of Texas? If so, what was the disposition (unfounded, private reprimand, public reprimand, suspension, disbarment)?

What do the many DNA-proven exonerations say about weaknesses in the Texas justice system and how should the court address that?

What changes, if any, would you like to see made to the administration of the death penalty in Texas?

This court has a reputation for being tough on crime, sometimes unreasonably so. Is this reputation deserved?

Describe what you see as the proper temperament for a judge.

For appellate court incumbents (if applicable), what's the average time it takes from the time a case is filed to when it is disposed of in your court?

If you have been a judge in a county or appellate jurisdiction, what was your reversal rate?

Is there a problem with the availability or quality of legal services provided indigent defendants in this state? If so, how would you seek to address it?

Because Texas selects its judges and justices through partisan elections, you chose to run as a Republican, Democrat or member of another political party. What philosophies of that party led you to choose it for this race?

Do you support our system of electing judges in partisan contests? Or would you favor moving to a different system, such as one where judges are appointed and then run later in non-partisan retention elections?

The Supreme Court oath that all lawyers take requires them to say that “we will avoid the appearance of impropriety.” In light of that, how can judges justify accepting campaign contributions from lawyers who have appeared or may appear before them in court?

The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
City/Town San Antonio
Age 68
Campaign Phone Number (210) 643-5732
Fax Number 210-680-7746
Email Address jscastro49@gmail.com
SIXTY FOUR YEARS
ATTORNEY
BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN JURIS DOCTORATE FROM ST MARYS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
I AM A MEMBER OF LULAC AND A VOLUNTEER FOR THE ESPARANZA PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER.
PREVIOUSLY I WAS A MEMBER OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO ADVISORY BOARD FOR THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OFFICE OF THE SAN ANTONIO POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SAN ANTONIOS CULTURAL ARTS BOARD. ADDITIONALLY I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF LULAC. VOLUNTEER FOR THE ESPERANZA PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER> VOLUNTEER WITH THE SAN ANTONIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY. MEMBER OF THE NAACP. BOARD MEMBER FOR THE MUJERES PROJECT. SEVERAL OTHER BOARDS AND OR TASK FORCES THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. I have previously been a member of several PTAs 9having raised four generations of children), a brownie leader, a girl scout leader, a cookie captain for the brownie troop. I helped coordinate a counter celebration to the parade of the Ku Klux Klan in San Antonio. On several occasions I have "manned" a hotline for reporting voter fraud and voter intimidation and/or served as an observer at select polling places. I spent one year as the precinct chair for the precinct in which I live. I have forgotten many of my .community activities.
POSITION ON THE ALAMO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT.
NONE.
AT THIS TIME I HAVE NO CONTRIBUTORS.
NO>.
I HAVE NOT DECLARED BANKRUPTCY I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN CIVIL ACTIONS.. A DIVORCE AND SUBSEQUENT CHILD SUPPORT ACTION IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES. I SUED THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH MY DAUGHTER WAS A GRADUATING SENIOR TO PREVENT THEM FROM ALLOWING HER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRADUATION CEREMONIES. IN THE MID NINETIES I WAS SUED BY THE MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE FUND OVER ATTORNEYS FEES FROM CASES I HAD WORKED ON WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF MALDEF BUT FINISHED IN MY PRIVATE PRACTICE WHEN SEPARATED FROM THAT EMPLOYMENT. I WAS ALSO INVOLVED IN A TAX COURT CASE REGARDING MY LATE FILING OF INCOME TAX REPORTS AND CLAIM THAT A HORSE BREEDING BUSINESS WAS ACTUALLY A BUSINESS.
IN THE MID NINETIES I HELPED ORGANIZE A GROUP OF DIVERSE INTERESTS TO DEFEAT A BALLOT MEASURE REGARDING THE Applewhite Reservoir, a proposed WATER RESOURCES for SAN ANTONIO.
I ADMIRED JUDGE WILLIAM WAYNE JUSTICE WHOSE CAREER DEMONSTRATED GREAT COURAGE AND COMPASSION AS WELL AS INTELLIGENCE AND THOUGHTFUL REASONING. EVEN THOUGH HE MAINTAINED HIS JUDICIAL POSITION IN AN AREA OF TEXAS THAT WAS AND REMAINS CHALLENGING FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR JUDGE JUSTICE HAD AN IMPACT ON THE ENTIRE STATE WHEN HE SUPPORTED THE RIGHTS OF MINORITY STUDENTS TO EDUCATION WITHOUT COST REGARDLESS OF THE CITIZENSHIP STATUS OF CHILDREN. HE ALSO RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR INTEGRATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND THE EXTREMELY BAD CONDITIONS IN TEXAS JAILS. NOTABLE TEXAS COLUMNIST MOLLY IVINS CREDITED JUDGE JUSTICE WITH BRINGING THE US CONSTITUTION TO TEXAS.
I AM RUNNING FOR OFFICE AS A GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE SEEKING CHANGE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM REGARDING CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS AND ACCOMPANYING SENTENCING FOR NON VIOLENT OFFENDERS. IT IS MY POSITION THAT PEOPLE CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES RECEIVE COMPARABLE REPRESENTATION REGARDLESS OF THEIR ECONOMIC STATUS.
BECAUSE I WILL PROVIDE A GREATER BALANCE IN THE REVIEW OF CRIMINAL APPEALS CASES THAN HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE IN THIS FORUM. ALSO I BELIEVE REFORMATION OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN TEXAS IS LONG OVER DUE> FOR EXAMPLE THE REFUSAL OF A MEMBER OF THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS TO KEEP THE DOORS OF THE APPELLATE COURT OPEN FOR FILING A LAST MINUTE APPEAL BY A DEATH ROW INMATE WAS UNETHICAL AND WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION. A MATTER THAT MAY BE REMEDIED WITH JUSTICES FROM MORE COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT WOULD PROVIDE. FAIRNESS IN REVIEW OF CLAIMS OF INNOCENCE BASED ON FLAWED EVIDENCE AND OR PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT MUST BE FOR THE INNOCENT AS WELL AS THE PROFOUNDLY GUILTY.
NOT APPLICABLE.
I BELIEVE I HAVE HAD THREE GRIEVANCES FILED AGAINST ME. in 33 years of practice. TWO WERE RESOLVED IN A PRIVATE REPRIMAND AND ONE WAS uNFOUNDED.
Possibly the DNA exonerations have put both law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys on strict notice that evidence has to be more than circumstantial and resolution of criminal responsibility requires hard and competent investigation. I also would hope that the judiciary in Texas has taken full notice of the problems created by a perverse desire to accumulate convictions, regardless of the means used to reach that end. The Court of Criminal Appeals should be the filter/the microscope reviewing the evidence in all cases. When there is possible evidence of wrongful conviction, the Court of Criminal Appeals should establish a process for review and remedy of those prosecutoral/conviction problems.
I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DEATH PENALTY SERVES ANY SOCIETAL PURPOSE I would like to see the death penalty suspended while there remain questions about the drug cocktail used and the pharmacology companies involved in the production of those drugs. Ultimately, I would like to see Texas abandon the death penalty. It is a very costly way to punish people convicted of heinous or capital crimes. THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER CRIME IT SEEMS TO BE A POLITICAL "SHOW" USED BY POLITICIANS TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR TOUGHNESS ON CRIME
i believe the decisions emanating from the court of criminal appeals have consistently been unreasonably tough on crime the most telling "decision" was that of chief justice keller to close the doors of the appellate courthouse as a last minute appeal was being filed on behalf of a death row inmate justice keller who has huge resources at her disposal was able to reduce the public hatter to a private reprimand despite her clearly callous and inhumane behavior she did not even have sufficient self awareness to resign
a judge should be objective relatively even tempered except in exceptional circumstances and knowledgeable about the law
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
THERE IS A HUGE PROBLEM IN THE AVAILABILITY AND TO AN EXTENT QUALITY OF SERVICES PROVIDED TO BOTH CRIMINAL AND CIVIL INDIGENT PARTIES IN THIS STATE THE STATE LEGISLATURE SHOULD MANDATE THE CREATION OF PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICE FOR COUNTIES IN THE STATE AND OR CREATE A STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICE TO address more sparsely populated counties> the program should be funded by the state
A HOPE THAT THERE CAN BE ALTERNATIVES FOR TEXAS VOTERS>
I FAVOR THE ELECTION OF JUDGES BECAUSE TE POLITICAL INFLUENCE IS TOTALLY TRANSPARENT. WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN TEXAS IS COMPARABLE TO AN APPOINTMENT SYSTEM WITH RETENTION ELECTIONS AS VACANCIES FOR JUDICIAL POSITIONS ARE FILLED BY A GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTMENT THAT IS FOLLOWED BY A COMPETITIVE OR NOT SO COMPETITIVE ELECTION. THE MONEY CONCERNS COULD BE ADDRESSED WITH SOME RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS OR SOME REGULATORY SYSTEM REQUIRING TRANSPARENCY OR DISCLOSURE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS>
I THINK THAT ALL POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS SHOULD BE PUBLICLY FUNDED IN MY OPINION THERE IS IMPROPRIETY IN ACCEPTING MONEY FROM ATTORNEYS WHO MAY APPEAR BEFORE A JUDGE UNFORTUNATELY THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN EXTREMELY EXACERBATED OVER THE COURSE OF MY LEGAL CAREER
City/Town San Antonio, Texas
Age 51
Campaign Phone Number (210) 387-1767
Email Address kpyeary@yahoo.com
47 years, 11 months
Assistant Criminal District Attorney Bexar County District Attorney's Office
St. Augustine High School - Diploma - 1984

St. Mary's University - B.A. English Communication Arts - 1988

St. Mary's University Law School - J.D. - 1991
Texas Bar Association - Member

San Antonio Bar Association - Member Criminal Courts Committee Appellate Section

Catholic Lawyer's Guild of San Antonio - Member

Encino Park Elementary School - Watch Dog Volunteer

St. Padre Pio Catholic Church - Member Lector Eucharistic Minster Knights of Columbus - Council 13074

Texas Bar Association - Member 1991-Present

San Antonio Bar Association - Member Appellate Section - Past Secretary

Catholic Lawyer's Guild of San Antonio - 2012-Present

Encino Park Elementary School - Watch Dog Volunteer - 2010-Present

St. Padre Pio Catholic Church - Member Lector Eucharistic Minster Knights of Columbus - Council 13074 Director of High School Confirmation Preparation Program - 2005-2010 Director of the 2013 Men's ACTS Retreat
N/A
Around $38,000.00
Christopher Pettit - $5000

Oscar Leo Quintanilla - $2500

Brad West - $2500
Age 17 - 1983 - Class C Misdemeanor Minor in Possession of Alcohol

Age 18 - 1984 - Class C Misdemeanor Minor in Possession of Alcohol
In 1995 certain Bexar County DA employees were involved in an incident with a private bus driver. I was asked by the Bexar County DA's Office to submit a witness report concerning that incident to be included in an internal investigation into the conduct of the DA's office employees. I was not an employee of the DA's office at that time. The report was subsequently used by others in a different context, and as a result, I was sued for libel. The suit against me was dismissed.
I am a husband and father of four daughters. I lead our team/family toward important goals every day.

I have taught college students and lawyers the art of legal research and writing and the basics of criminal law.

I frequently teach attorneys and law enforcement officers about developments in the law.

I have led many classes of high school aged Catholics through preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation

I directed the 2013 Men's ACTS Retreat for St. Padre Pio Catholic Church - there were around 75 team members and attendees on the retreat.

I also led the Court of Criminal Appeals toward an important decision when I asked that Court to require trial courts to reveal the reasons for their decisions on pre-trial motions to suppress evidence in Cullen v. State.
It is hard to say whether I admire any one judge or attorney the most. I admire a lot of attorneys and judges. If I had to choose, I would say that the judge I admire the most is the late Judge Bill Marvin White. He is the judge who hired me to work as his Briefing Attorney at the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1991. He was committed to justice and he was a wonderful mentor to me for most of my career. The attorney I admire the most is the late Mr. Horace Hall of Laredo, Texas. He was the lawyer who inspired me toward the practice of law. He worked hard as a lawyer, but he was also a great family man. I always considered him to be a close friend.
I believe I have been blessed with a very unique legal career that has prepared me for the job like few others. I have been a lawyer for 23 years. I have worked at the Court of Criminal Appeals as a Briefing Attorney. I have been a defense attorney, and have worked for clients both in the trial courts and in the courts of appeals. I have also worked over the last 19 years as an appellate attorney with three of the largest metropolitan DA's offices in Texas, and I have practiced extensively in front of the Court of Criminal Appeals. With three open seats on the Court of Criminal Appeals this election year, and with one of those open seats being the one that was previously held by the judge who hired me to work at the Court as a Briefing Attorney 23 years ago, I felt called to run for that open seat - Place 4. The prospect of working at the Court of Criminal Appeals is exciting to me. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to run for a seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals.
I am the most and best qualified candidate in the race.
N/A
I once represented the State of Texas against a criminal defendant who filed a document with the grievance commission complaining about me. The grievance commission dismissed the filing. The defendant appealed that decision, but the decision to dismiss the filing was affirmed.
DNA exonerations demonstrate that our criminal judicial system is not perfect. That is not surprising given that our system is both developed and administered by mere human beings. The imperfect nature of our system is one reason we place the very highest burden - proof beyond a reasonable doubt - on the State in criminal cases.

DNA science is an exiting development both for criminal jurisprudence and for humanity in general. The Legislature has already responded to the availability of modern DNA science and may in the future respond in new and interesting ways. When DNA issues are litigated, the courts will resolve those disputes according to the constitutions of the United States and Texas, and according to the laws written by the Legislature.
I do not believe it is the job of a judge to decide how to "administer" the death penalty. The Court of Criminal Appeals reviews all death sentences on appeal, but only ensures that the judgments in those cases are consistent with the constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas. This questions asks a question that should best be addressed to the Legislature.
No. The Court is not a prosecutor. It is also not the Legislature. The Legislature writes the law. Prosecutors, juries, and trial judges enforce the law and sentence defendants. The Court of Criminal Appeals merely settles disputes that arise in the process.
A judge should ensure that criminal cases are resolved properly, according to the law as written by the Legislature. A judge should treat defendants, victims, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and the public fairly and with respect at all times. A judge should be efficient, respectful and a good steward of the law.
N/A
N/A
Truly indigent defendants in Texas are entitled to counsel to assist them with their defense against criminal charges both at trial and on direct appeal. They are also entitled to constitutionally effective counsel. When fees for appointed counsel are set too low, there is a danger that, in some cases, the low fees might incentivize a minimalist approach by counsel and result in the provision of ineffective representation. I do not claim to know the answer to this very difficult problem. I do have some ideas that might be worth trying. I am willing to consider the ideas of others as well. Our system must find an appropriate balance, recognizing: (1) the needs of the indigent criminal accused, (2) the compensation of appointed counsel in a fair manner which incentivizes effective representation, and (3) the reality that funds for indigent representation are not limitless.
I identify with the philosophies advanced by the Republican Party, especially individual rights and responsibility, limited government, and opportunity for all.
It is not up to judges to decide how they will be chosen or retained. That is a decision for the citizens and for the Legislature. That said, I am satisfied with the system we have now. I do believe the citizens should retain the power to vote for or against judges in elections.
Most of my campaign contributions have come from non-lawyers. Those lawyers who have contributed to my campaign are either very small contributors, or are not likely to practice regularly in front of the Court of Criminal Appeals. I do believe that judges are capable of being fair, even when presiding over cases being litigated by lawyers who have given them campaign contributions. I do not believe that a campaign contribution alone creates the "appearance of impropriety," especially in a system like ours where those contributions are limited by state law.