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Who we represent

The OCFW represents a substantial majority of persons sentenced to death in Texas in initial state habeas corpus applications and related proceedings, and is committed to client-centered and excellent post-conviction representation, consistent with the Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases adopted by the State Bar of Texas.

About Us

The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs ("OCFW") is a Texas state public defender office located in Austin, Texas that represents individuals in state post-conviction litigation. The OCFW, then known as the Office of Capital Writs, opened its doors in 2010, representing death-sentenced persons in state post-conviction proceedings exclusively. On September 1, 2015, the scope of the Office's mission expanded to include the representation of a select number of individuals raising challenges to their convictions through forensic science writs, and its name changed to reflect the expanded mandate.

Our Services


Capital Post-Conviction Representation

We represent death-sentenced persons in constitutional challenges to their conviction and sentence in Texas state courts. We represent persons in Texas raising initial post-conviction challenges to their convictions and death sentences, and challenges in other procedural postures, such as incompetency to be executed, post-conviction DNA testing, and successive post-conviction proceedings raising claims that prior counsel failed to raise.


Forensic Science Writ Representation

 We represent a limited number of incarcerated people in non-capital, post-conviction cases that involve flawed forensic science and that are referred to us by the Texas Forensic Science Commission. In those cases, we challenge convictions that rest on forensic evidence, such as hair microscopy, blood spatter, bitemarks, or fingerprints that were faulty because the evidence was mishandled, misrepresented, or otherwise unreliable.  

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