Justia Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Opinion Summaries

Hankston v. Texas

Following the denial of his motion to suppress, Appellant Gareic Hankston was convicted of murder and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The Court of Appeals affirmed Appellant’s conviction, holding that the warrantless acquisition of Appellant’s cell phone records (comprised of call logs and historical cell site location information (“CSLI”)) did not violate Appellant’s rights under the Fourth Amendment or under Article I, Section 9 of the Texas Constitution. In light of the Court of Criminal Appeals’ recent decision in “Ford v. Texas,” the Court did not grant review of Appellant’s Fourth Amendment claim. It did, however, agree to address an issue that was unresolved by “Ford” -whether Art. I, sec. 9 of the Texas Constitution afforded broader protection under these facts than the Fourth Amendment provided. The Court held that Appellant’s rights pertaining to call logs and cell site location information possessed by a third party were the same under both the Fourth Amendment and under Art. I, sec. 9. The Court also held that the State’s acquisition of Appellant’s cell phone records pursuant to a court order did not violate Art. I, sec. 9 of the Texas Constitution. Therefore, the Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. View "Hankston v. Texas" on Justia Law