Farley Charles Matchett

Executed September 12, 2006 06:16 p.m. CST by Lethal Injection in Texas

42nd murderer executed in U.S. in 2006
1046th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
21st murderer executed in Texas in 2006
376th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
Farley Charles Matchett

B / M / 28 - 43

Uries Anderson

B / M / 52

Stabbing with knife

Matchett was a crack addict in desperate need of a fix. A day earlier in Huntsville, he killed 74-year-old Melonee Josey with a meat hammer after she refused to give him money. The day before that, he severely beat 91-year-old Ola Mae Williams for the same reason. Today, he randomly knocked on doors in a northeast Houston neighborhood before he appeared at Uries Anderson's doorstep to ask for money. Anderson, who was related to Matchett by marriage, lectured him about his drug habit. Anderson, who was home alone, was attacked by Matchett. His body was found two days later.The 52-year-old father of four had been stabbed twice in the back and his head badly beaten with a hammer. Matchett was arrested when he tried to cash one of Anderson's personal checks. Matchett confessed to Houston police about the three-day crime spree and later pleaded guilty to Anderson's murder. Matchett later accepted plea deals in the Huntsville murders. He received a life prison sentence for Josey's murder, and 99 years in prison for attacking Williams.

Matchett v. State, 941 S.W.2d 922 (Tex.Cr.App. 1996) (Direct Appeal).
Matchett v. Dretke, 380 F.3d 844 (5th Cir. 2004) (Habeas).

Final/Special Meal:
Four olives and a bottle of wild-berry flavored water.

Final Words:
He began his final statement by telling his family: "I love you all. Stay strong, and know that I am in a better place." He then addressed members of victim Uries Anderson's family, who witnessed the execution. Matchett, who is related to the Anderson family by marriage, asked for their forgiveness. He said he hoped they "found peace" in their hearts through his death. He then said, "Into thy hands I command my spirit." A moment later he went on to thank his supporters, who included French actress Brigitte Bardot. "Don't let this be the end," he said. "Keep going." His voice trailed off as the lethal injection took effect.

Internet Sources:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Executed Offenders (Farley Matchett)

Inmate: Farley Charles Matchett
Date of Birth: 11/19/62
TDCJ#: 999060
Date Received: 4/30/93
Education: 12 years
Occupation: truck driver
Date of Offense: 7/12/91
County of Offense: Harris
Native County: Harris County, Texas
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 6 ft 01 in
Weight: 166

Houston Chronicle

"At the end, killer asks families for forgiveness; hopes his death brings them peace," by Rosanna Ruiz. (Sept. 13, 2006, 1:11PM)

HUNSTVILLE - A former crack addict, who in 1991 went on a three-day crime spree in which he killed an elderly Huntsville woman and a Houston house painter, was executed Tuesday. Farley Charles Matchett, 43, asked his victims' relatives for forgiveness before he was put to death by lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. He is the 21st man in Texas to die in Huntsville's death chamber this year. A last-minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution was rejected.

He began his final statement by telling his family: "I love you all. Stay strong, and know that I am in a better place." He then addressed members of victim Uries Anderson's family, who witnessed the execution. Matchett, who is related to the Anderson family by marriage, asked for their forgiveness. He said he hoped they "found peace" in their hearts through his death. He then said, "Into thy hands I command my spirit." A moment later he went on to thank his supporters, who included French actress Brigitte Bardot. "Don't let this be the end," he said. "Keep going." His voice trailed off as the lethal injection took effect.

Anderson's body was found two days after he was slain on July 14, 1991. The 52-year-old father of four had been stabbed twice in the back and his head was beaten with a hammer. Matchett was arrested when he tried to cash one of Anderson's personal checks. A day before Anderson's slaying, Matchett killed 74-year-old Melonee Josey with a meat hammer after she refused to give him money. The day before that, he severely beat 91-year-old Ola Mae Williams for the same reason.

Matchett confessed to Houston police about the three-day crime spree and later pleaded guilty to Anderson's slaying.

Josey's son, James E. Josey, did not speak publicly afterward, but the Anderson family issued a statement: "While we do not glory in a life being taken, it's now done and it has closed a painful chapter in our lives, enabling us to continue our healing process."

Houston Chronicle

"As his execution nears, an inmate opens up: How much remorse is enough for crime?" by Rosanna Ruiz. (Sept. 13, 2006, 1:11PM)

Farley Charles Matchett needed another fix. The crack addict had randomly knocked on doors in a northeast Houston neighborhood before he appeared at Uries Anderson's doorstep to ask for money. Anderson, who was related to Matchett by marriage, lectured him about his drug habit. Anderson, who was home alone, may not have known how deep Matchett's desperation ran.

A day earlier in Huntsville, Matchett killed 74-year-old Melonee Josey with a meat hammer after she refused to give him money. The day before that, he severely beat 91-year-old Ola Mae Williams for the same reason. Anderson's body was found two days later, on July 14, 1991. The 52-year-old father of four had been stabbed twice in the back and his head badly beaten with a hammer. Matchett was arrested when he tried to cash one of Anderson's personal checks.

He confessed to Houston police about the three-day crime spree and later pleaded guilty to Anderson's murder. On Tuesday, Matchett is scheduled to become the 21st man in Texas to die by lethal injection this year.

During a recent interview from death row, the 43-year-old spoke about his life before and after drugs, his court case and what he considers an unfair shake at the legal system with his state-appointed counsel. Matchett believes another review of his appellate case can spare his life. "I live every day with what happened, and I regret what happened," he said. "How much remorse does society want me to show?"

Problems early on

Matchett was raised early on by his paternal grandparents in the East Texas town of Madisonville. His teenage mother lived in nearby Midway, and he rarely saw his father. After his mother, Annie Robinson, married, Matchett went to live with her in Grand Prairie near Dallas. At 13, Matchett began to hang out on the streets and run errands for drug dealers and prostitutes. The bottom really fell out of his life when his 11-year-old sister was raped. Matchett said he blamed himself for not being around to protect her. "It was the worst time of my life," Matchett said.

He dropped out of school and joined the U.S. Army, but soon learned that the life of solitude he had sought would not be found in the military. Matchett "lost interest" and was discharged in 1981 for being absent without leave, fighting with a private and possession of marijuana. After the Army, Matchett worked as a truck driver, school bus driver and landscaper. He could make it through the week, but come Friday his addiction took hold and he "binge smoked." "You couldn't get me to do nothing on the weekend," he said with a smile.

Matchett had at least two chances to quit his $600-a-day drug habit. In 1990, he was referred to a drug and alcohol program after he was charged with possession of marijuana. He never showed after his first visit, court records indicate. A year later, his mother enrolled him in a drug treatment program, but he was discharged after less than a month — also just four months before Anderson and Josey were slain. "He was not willing to listen and was closed minded," court documents state. Matchett said the program wasn't the right fit. He insists his addiction should've been handled with medication. "I could've got over my addiction, and I wouldn't be in this situation," he said.

For the sake of his appeal, Matchett was careful not to go into great detail about what landed him on death row 13 years ago. Still, he recalled hardly eating or sleeping in the days leading up to the homicides. "I didn't realize what I had done," Matchett said.

Questions linger

Those words, conveyed to Anderson's eldest son, offered scant explanation why Matchett took his father's life. "He's definitely caused pain in my life and throughout the lives of my family members," said Uries Anderson Jr., a Naval officer stationed in Norfolk, Va. "Will death suffice for his punishment? Maybe. Maybe not. I think it's up to the higher being. Let him decide."

Anderson said the last time he saw his father was just a few days before he was murdered. He was off to work, wearing his typical all-white painter's uniform. The younger Anderson was in Hawaii, celebrating his graduation from Kashmere High School, when he received word to return home. His mother, Lonnie, and 13-year-old brother, Lamarcus, were also out of town at the time. Uries Anderson Jr. said he has lingering questions about what provoked Matchett. "I want to know what happened in those closing moments," he said.

'Set up' by attorney

Matchett said he is sorry about what happened and has prayed for the ability to accept his fate. But he won't give up until he gets another review of his case, Matchett said. He insists he was "set up" by his lead trial attorney, the late Donald Davis. He said Davis persuaded him to plead guilty after he assured him the death penalty was off the table as an option. Attorney Robert Morrow, who also represented Matchett during the trial, did not return repeated phone calls. Roe Wilson, a Harris County assistant district attorney, said court records don't support Matchett's claim of a deal was to spare him from the death penalty. The punishment options should have been clear from the start of jury selection, she said. By that point it was too late, Matchett said. "He chose to finance his drug habit by murdering elderly people and stealing from them," Wilson said. "No, there's no sympathy for him."

Roy E. Greenwood, an Austin lawyer appointed to represent Matchett in the Huntsville cases, said he remains puzzled about Matchett's guilty plea. He said Matchett should have been able to argue in court that he killed Anderson in self-defense, but was prohibited by the plea. "Why he (Davis) pled him guilty and blew off all these legal issues never made sense to me," Greenwood said. "You just don't give up with plea of guilty."

Matchett, whose federal and state appeals all were denied, also faulted his trial attorneys for not presenting mitigating evidence for jurors to consider a lesser punishment. He also claimed that court-appointed appellate attorneys botched his appeals.

No grounds for appeal

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake denied the assertion and wrote in a 2003 dismissal order that inmates' claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in post-conviction appeals is not grounds for court relief. The Supreme Court has recognized, he wrote, that there is no constitutional right to an attorney in state appeals. Matchett accepted plea deals in the Huntsville cases. He received a life prison sentence for Josey's July 11, 1991, murder and 99 years in prison for attacking Williams.

Anti-death penalty groups and activists, including French actress Bridget Bardot, have latched onto Matchett's case. Matchett said he's touched by the support, but he's ready if he is executed Tuesday. "I'll finally be free. Death is a bridge we all must cross, and if this is my time it's my time," Matchett said. "If I could turn back the hands of time, I would."

Reuters News

"Texas executes man for 1991 robbery, murder spree." (Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:45pm ET)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - Texas executed a former addict on Tuesday for the 1991 murder of a 52-year-old Houston paint contractor who refused to hand over money for the man's drug habit. Farley Charles Matchett, 43, was condemned for robbing and killing Uries Anderson in his Houston home. Anderson was stabbed and struck in the head numerous times with a hammer.

The July 12, 1991, murder capped a three-day crime spree during which Matchett killed a 74-year-old Huntsville woman, also by striking her with a hammer, and beat another elderly woman while stealing money and other items to support his $600-a-day crack cocaine habit. Matchett was sentenced to life in prison for the death of Melonee Josey of Huntsville and given 74 years in prison for the beating of Ola Mac Williams.

Matchett, then 29, was arrested a few days after Anderson's death, trying to cash forged checks. Matchett had a lengthy criminal record, dating back to the age of 13.

His case drew interest from opponents of the death penalty. In July, French film star Brigitte Bardot wrote Texas Gov. Rick Perry asking for Matchett to be pardoned.

While strapped to a gurney in the death chamber shortly before his lethal injection, Matchett asked his family for forgiveness. To the families of his victims who witnessed the execution, Matchett said, "find peace and cancellation with my death and move on."

Matchett was the 21st person executed in Texas this year and the 376th put to death in the state since it resumed capital punishment in 1982, six years after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a national death penalty ban. Both totals lead the nation.

For his last meal, Matchett requested four olives and a bottle of wild-berry flavored water.

Texas has six more executions scheduled this year.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

"Man executed for killing his uncle in 1991," by Michael Graczyk. (Wed, Sep. 13, 2006)

HUNTSVILLE - Condemned prisoner Farley Charles Matchett was executed Tuesday for killing his uncle in July 1991 during three brutal days in which an elderly woman was killed and another seriously injured. In a brief final statement, Matchett expressed love to his family "for standing with me throughout this situation. Stay strong and know I am in a better place. I ask for forgiveness."

He also asked the victim's family to "find peace in your heart" with his death and move on. Matchett said a short prayer and then thanked his friends and pen pals. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.

At his trial, in 1993, Matchett, 43, pleaded guilty to capital murder, and a Harris County jury decided he should die for fatally stabbing and beating Uries Anderson, 52, of Houston. On a Web site devoted to his case, Matchett wrote that he pleaded guilty on the advice of his attorney, who said Matchett should be sentenced to life in prison. "He set me up to get the death sentence," Matchett wrote.

Matchett, who lived in Huntsville and whose crack cocaine habit cost him as much as a $600 a day, also pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison for killing Melonee Josey, 74, of Huntsville, who refused his request for $10. He also agreed to a 99-year sentence for beating 91-year-old Ola Mac Williams of Huntsville, who was left with brain damage. The weapon in both those attacks was a hammer.

Evidence showed that he stole Josey's car and drove to Houston, where an argument over his drug use led to a fight and Anderson's slaying. On the Web site, Matchett wrote that the slaying was in self-defense -- that in the fight his uncle grabbed a knife but that he pushed it back toward him. "It lodged in his chest, and he immediately fell," Matchett said. An autopsy showed that Anderson died of stab wounds to the back, not chest, and a skull fracture caused by blows from a hammer.

The execution was the 21st this year in Texas.

Texas Execution Information Center by David Carson.

Farley Charles Matchett, 45, was executed by lethal injection on 12 September 2006 in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a man in his home.

On 10 July 1991 in Huntsville, Matchett, then 28 and addicted to crack cocaine, beat Ola Mae Williams, 91, on the head with a hammer after she refused to give him money for drugs. The following day, Matchett beat Melonee Josey, 74, on the head after she refused to give him money. Matchett then stole Josey's car and drove it to Houston. Williams suffered permanent brain damage in the attack. Josey died.

On 12 July, Matchett appeared at the Houston home of Uries Anderson, a relative by marriage. Instead of giving Matchett money, Anderson gave him a lecture about his drug habit. Matchett then stabbed Anderson twice in the back and beat him on the head with a hammer. Anderson's body was found two days later. Matchett was arrested when he tried to forge and cash one of Anderson's personal checks. He confessed to all three attacks to Houston police.

Matchett had no prior felony convictions, but he did have a history of drug abuse and minor offenses. He was discharged from the U.S. army in 1981 for being absent without leave, fighting with another soldier, and possession of marijuana. In 1989, he was convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to 6 months' probation. He was also enrolled in a drug and alcohol program for his $600-a-day habit, but he never showed up for treatment after his first visit. He also had a conviction for marijuana possession and theft in May 1990 and was sentenced to 6 months' probation.

Matchett pleaded guilty to all three attacks. He received a 99-year sentence for the Williams beating, and a life sentence for the Josey murder. In April 1993, a jury sentenced him to death for the Anderson murder. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and death sentence in November 1996. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.

While on death row, Matchett wrote a letter that was published on several anti-death-penalty web sites. In the letter, Matchett claimed he killed Anderson in self-defense. He went to Anderson's house because Anderson owed him money, he wrote. "I made inquires as to when he was going to settle the 8-month-old debt and at that point, the man became angry," Matchett wrote. "I could see the situation escalating, so I made an attempt to leave, but I was abruptly stopped at the door by the victim who spun me around and struck me with his fist." Matchett wrote that he and Anderson fought, then Anderson grabbed a knife and attempted to slash his throat. Matchett was able to push the knife away, lodging it in Anderson's chest. According to Matchett's letter, he called paramedics, and Anderson died in surgery.

Matchett also claimed that the police literally beat a confession out of him and led his hand in signing it. He wrote that he pleaded guilty after his lawyer, Donald Davis, assured him that the death penalty was off the table. Matchett also implied that Davis's June 2000 suicide was the result of another lawyer's discovery of Davis's role in a conspiracy to convict him.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Roe Wilson said that there was never a deal to spare Matchett from the death penalty, and that the questions asked of prospective jurors during the jury selection process should have made that obvious.

In an interview from death row the week before his execution, Matchett admitted that he "binge smoked" on weekends. "You couldn't get me to do nothing on the weekend," he said, smiling. He said that his court-ordered drug treatment programs weren't right for him, because they didn't use medication to help him overcome his addiction. With the right program, "I wouldn't be in this situation," Matchett said.

In his last statement at his execution, Matchett expressed love to his family and asked Anderson's family for forgiveness. He was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m.


Farley Matchett embarked on a crime spree in 1991 that left his own uncle and another person dead and a third person seriously injured. Matchett was sentenced to death for the fatal beating and stabbing of his uncle, Uries Anderson, 52, at the man's home in Houston, Texas. Matchett also was sentenced to a life prison term for the murder of an elderly woman in Huntsville and 99 years for leaving another elderly Huntsville woman beaten so badly that she suffered brain damage. All three crimes happened during one week in July 1991. Evidence at trial showed that Matchett used a hammer to beat Ola Mac Williams, 91, whose Huntsville yard he had mowed. Then he went to the house of a neighbor, also in Huntsville, Melonee Josey, 74, and fatally beat her with a meat hammer after she refused to give him $10. The next day, on July 12, 1991, Matchett argued with his uncle about his drug use, and stabbed Uries with a knife and struck him in the head with a hamemr before robbing the home of money so he could buy crack cocaine. He was arrested when he tried to cash checks he had forged with his uncle's signature.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Farley Matchett, TX September 12, 2006
Do Not Execute Farley Matchett

Farley Matchett and his supporters continue to claim self-defense as his Sep. 12 execution date approaches. Matchett, a 43-year-old black male, was convicted of the July 1991 robbery and murder of Uries Anderson in Houston. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Matchett murdered Anderson in order to steal money for crack cocaine. He was arrested while attempting to cash a forged check and sentenced to death.

Matchett’s supporters maintain that there are other important factors to this sequence of events that many, including the jury, never heard.

Matchett claims that he killed Anderson in self-defense. According to Matchett, he went to the victim’s home in an attempt to settle an 8-month debt. As the situation escalated, Anderson became angry and attacked Matchett, eventually threatening him by holding a knife against his throat. Matchett says that only at this point did he become violent, and he killed Anderson in self-defense. Matchett then called the paramedics for help, but Anderson died in surgery shortly after.

Matchett calls his trial “a mockery of justice.” He claims that upon arrest, he was beaten by police for more than 36 hours until he confessed. Then, the state incarcerated him for 19 months before he stood trial. Matchett cites ineffective assistance of counsel as a flaw of his trial, noting that his defense attorney called only two witnesses during the punishment phase of the trial and failed to make necessary objections. Additionally, his attorney failed to fully investigate and present a complete and accurate mitigation defense and did not challenge the admissibility of some questionable testimony. Instead, the attorney urged Matchett to plead guilty, thus forfeiting his right to challenge the legality of his arrest and the admissibility of his confession on appeal.

The state of Texas will execute Farley Matchett on Sept. 12, despite the numerous trial errors and his continuing claims of innocence.

Please write to Gov. Rick Perry on behalf of Farley Matchett


Farley Matchett was arrested and convicted in 1991 for the stabbing death of Uries Anderson from Houston, TX. Harris County is the county in Texas that Farley was tried and sentenced in. Statistics show that Harris County leads the USA in the number of cases tried and sent to death row as well as the number of men that are actually executed.

There was a murder the day before, however Farley Matchett was named as a suspect but was never charged. Farley like most death row inmates in this country did not receive a fair trial or a full review as entitled under the constitution of the US. The constitution says that a defendent has a right to effective assistance of counsel and trial and direct appeal, however in the post conviction process a person is entitled to counsel, but they do not have to be effective.

The fact the murder may have been in self-defense which is the same as being factually innocent is only one of the many claims that have gone unaddressed, therefore due to issues not being raised at a proper time they were barred from being heard. The need for an attorney is to try to resurrect these viable claims and get them back into State Court where they can be properly addressed.

We need Help!


The need for a moratorium on the death penalty

A moratorium on executions must be declared by 2/3 of the Texas Legislation, and two laws which hinder the due process intended by lawmakers for death row inmates must be repealed. Overwhelming evidence that the system is not working includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Misuse of funds which have been set-aside by lawmakers for inmates’ defense, for expert witnesses, psychologists, investigators and mitigation experts. Funds have been denied to inmates and returned to the state, constituting a hindrance of justice.

Denial of the opportunity for DNA testing which could prove inmates’ innocence, even when the inmate planned to pay for the testing himself.

The DNA lab in Houston was found to be so negligent that it was closed due to gross errors.

Three of the Justices on the CCA recently spoke out publicly and stated that the Court has been “knowingly” appointing incompetent counsel to death row inmates and that the December 4, 2002 execution of Leonard Rojas should have been stopped on these crowds.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that prosecutors in Texas have intentionally excluded blacks, Mexicans, Jews and Dagos from serving on jury panels.

There is evidence that evidence has been falsified, including planting of stored blood samples on defendants’ clothing, and “expert” testimony by psychologists who have not interviewed defendants, leading to conviction and execution.

*The current environment in Texas, in which inmates are freely executed without due process, would diminish if two Texas laws could be repealed. First, the “Immunity Laws” must be repealed by Texas legislators, so that prosecutors and Judges can be held accountable for malicious, unwarranted prosecution of defendants whose crimes aren’t legitimate capital murder cases under the capital litigation statues. Those litigators who violate these laws would lose their license to practice for one year or more. The prosecution rate would sharply decline, as evidenced in Illinois. Secondly, the repeal of the “Texas Inquest Laws” would bring to the public view cases in which innocent people may have been executed. As it stands now, the laws prevent anyone, including the executed person’s family, from proving the executed person’s innocence. That is how former Governor Bush and present Governor Perry can declare that no innocent person has been executed in Texas under their watches. We all know that that is not true, but how can it be proven, when laws prevent the gathering of evidence? Until this law is repealed, we’ll never be able to demonstrate to the public that innocent people have been executed. With a repealed “Texas Inquest Law”, I am certain that Texas will be shown to be the true killer. Until this law and the Immunity Law are repealed, Texas will continue to wreak havoc on the poor, the minorities, the mentally retarded and the mentally ill. James Colburn, a severe paranoid schizophrenic, for example, was killed on March 26, 2003

By Farley C. Matchett - January 23, 2004

Today we gather together to stand united in the fight to abolish the death penalty world wide. The eradication of this barbaric act bestowed upon men and women alike can not come too soon, for that may very well be too late for some of us languishing on death rows.

Each one of you here, share a common bond... a belief in humanity and a belief that everyone has a right to live, regardless of what he or she accused of. No man or woman on the face of this Earth has the God given right to dictate who lives and who dies. This is a majestic scorn against Religious and Moral principles, but then too... those who deem themselves the giver or taker of life in name of justice, have no morals, nor principles.

Let me remind you that here in Texas, 315 people have been executed since 1982 ; post-Furman era. The risk and danger grows greater every day, as those who control this reign of death an injustice eagerly push to eliminate more lives because times are changing and many atrocities of judicial injustice are coming to light.

Tiny drops of water feed streams, rivers and then oceans. Most of you sitting here can not see the changes but they are there... example The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded inmates = Atkins -vs- Virginia

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged that a court appointed lawyer did not act in his clients best interest and acknowledged the violation of the Sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution = " ineffective assistance of counsel". Mainly so because the attorney did not get up and investigate the inmates backgroung. Had he done so, he would have found compelling evidence that would be classified as mitigating and strong enough to persuade a jury to come to a different conclusion, other than a death sentence. = Wiggins -vs- Cercoran

Three Texas Appellate Judges on the notorious Court of Criminal appeals acknowledged that the 9 member court had been knowingly appointing incompetent attorneys to defend State habeas petitions for death row inmates. The court was given 7 million dollars for indigent death row inmates defense, but some how, we never received the funds. A clear case of mis-appropiation of funds. So after they messed off the money, they use incompetent attorneys who take the cases for $ 7,500 dollars: These are lawyers who do nothing to protect the rights of the defendants, and merely go through the motions as we are marched to the death chamber in assembly line fashion. This evolution of human conflict did not simply arise 30 years ago, it birthed itself from the seed of hate some 250 years ago. The conflict moved with a debilitating sense and purpose. It bombed, burned and hanged those who they found unjust and unfit for the society. From the seed of hate bigotry was derived, then social injustice spawned. From slavery to the electric chair. A Rope and vigilantes, to a power surge in the middle of the night. To proceed with their evil deeds, they wrote this barbaric act deep into their laws, which stood until 1972 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is used in a biased manner against the poor and minorities. Little has changed since its re-instatement in 1976 ... 28 years ago.

Every one of you has the capability to create a powerful force in the struggle, but those who are in this fight must "Unite" unconditionally. There are more forces that fight against the death penalty, than there are those who are for the death penalty. Here in Texas, there are basically 2 pro death penalty organisations, where as there are about 6 - 7 organisations that fight against it. In Europe there are far more against, than for, but the world wide problem is "in fighting".

While cyber arguments are happening, some one is slowly being inched to the chamber. I am in no way accusing any of you, but I merely want you to see what a Greater force there could be if we all joined hands. You can make a difference, only if you believe in your heart. Organizations must stop breaking off due to malicious infighting because the time spent re-creating a new organization is crucial time to someone on death row. While people are fussing and fighting, they are loading up my comrades right outside my window in shackles, belly chains and handcuffs. Lacks are on each ankle along with leg irons and from my window I watch him shuffle to a waiting van that will take him quickly to the death chamber some 45 miles away. While he sits in a cell adjacent to the death chamber watching time, some discord and conflict within the struggles for justice are in effect. It shouldn't be this way because we all share one common purpose.

When we as conscious individuals chose what we would fight against. We stepped whole heartedly into this fight. The fight has not changed, only the faces of the fighters. You are the fighters, the eyes of those bound by concrete walls, the voice of those who's literally level doesn't allow them to speak on paper... the person who is for us, when the world has turned against us.

Today, we must be inspired by faith that the uncertainties of tomorrow will materialize in a positive manner. Too many men and women have died seeking something so simple... justice. So many of you have made relentless sacrifices and I Thank each of you with all of my heart, but now is a time where you must renew the commitment’s within your heart.

One day the fruits of your labor will come forth. I can't say when, but the movement is making waves... a change is coming. I may not live to see it, but I want you to know that the struggle for Justice is soon to be victorious. If I don't live to see it, know that I will always be embedded in the hearts and minds of those who hear these words. Be diligent, Be strong, Be persistent, but by all means, be True to your heart. We have come a very long way and the road has been bumpy, narrow, filled with grief and despair, but you've not faltered... and here you sit... like me, ... tired, but not so that we will quit.

So I say to you, the next time you see cyber arguments, remind that person of precious time they are wasting that could be used to help some death row inmate. None of us are ever going to always agree with each other, but for the sake of life, liberty and justice,... a compromise may give some inmate the shred of hope he's been longing for. Hope for Justice is more precious than gold and silver and its beauty is all some of us have to held onto.

I thank you for your time in this and leave each and everyone of you with all my love, Peace, Blessings and Best wishes. Stay Strong in The Struggle!!! Stay United Forever!!!

Peace, F.Matchett


Last night, I received a letter from France and my pen pals little 10 years old daughter always adds her lines with her Mothers letter. Last night she asked.... "Farley do you have faith and hope?" I found it amazing that such profound words could come from the mouth of a child... a child.

In answer, yes I have faith ... faith that God will turn the tides of tribulation into an ocean of Triumphant Sea's... one day soon, "Hope", that man kind will come to the realization that in a civilized society such as ours, this death penalty punishment has no place on the face of this Earth and its eradication comes swiftly. Yes, I have faith and Yes I have hope that tomorrow will be better than to day.

Thank You, Farley


Excerpts of Farley Matchett interview
Inspirational View
Inspirational Thoughts… Love
Inspirational Thoughts…Faithful Missions
Passionate Pursuit for Peace and Understanding
I am the people
Simple Thoughts
A Farwell
Farley's political articles 1999-2004
Farley's politsche Artikel 1999-2003 und Foto Gallery
His case: www.deathrow-texas.com
Farley's Fall: www.Todestrakt-Texas.de
Affidavit by Roy Greenwood



French movie legend BRIGITTE BARDOT is attempting to save a convicted killer from execution in Texas. The actress has sent an open letter to Texas governor RICK PERRY asking him to pardon FARLEY C MATCHETT before he is executed next month (SEP06). Bardot, who also plans to appeal to another Texan - PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH, states she's convinced that Matchett, 43, was acting in self-defence when he stabbed his victim in 1991. Matchett has been incarcerated for 13 years. In her letter, Bardot writes, "This man has unintentionally committed a serious fault, since he acted in self-defence. "He is not a gangster, not a child's rapist, not a serial killer either... I beg you to please pardon Farley Matchett. "Dear Mr Governor, by according your pardon, your mercy to Farley Matchett to live, you would make me a wonderful favour (sic) and I will always be thankful to you."

Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Inmate Website)

Letter From Farley Matchett

My name is Farley C. Matchett # 999060 and I’m a death row inmate here in the State of Texas. My crime is defined by the Texas Penal Code as that of self defense. Due to poor representation at trial I was quickly sent to death row.

On July 11, 1991; I engaged a conversation with a man whom I had made a monetary loan to. I made inquiries as to when he was going to settle the 8-month-old debt and at that point, the man became angry . I could see the situation escalating, so I made an attempt to leave, but I was abruptly stopped at the door by the victim who spun me around and struck me with his fist. A fight ensued and with the victim being much larger than myself, I was manhandled . At some point, he grabbed a knife and had it very close to my throat as he pushed to slash my throat. At this point, I kicked him in the groin area and pushed the knife back towards him. It lodged in his chest and he immediately fell. I called the paramedics but he died in surgery later.

Three days later, I was arrested and interrogated for 36 brutal hours in which the detectives literally beat a confession out of me. I signed it just to get them to stop the beatings. I couldn’t see the paper because of my swollen eyes, so the detective led my hand in signing the confession. I then was thrown into a cell underground to await my trial for 19long months.

Trial began on February 22, 1993 and was over February 26, 1993. It was nothing short of a blatant mockery of justice. My Court appointed lawyer did literally nothing to defend my rights. He instructed me to plead guilty in order to avoid a death sentence and he would inject the self defense plea later. I complied because I trusted him but in all actuality, he set me up to get the death sentence. He called only two witnesses during the punishment phase. He made no objections and in 1996, the Appeals Courts turned me down on my first appeal because of this. Hey stated that the lawyer failed to enter a noted objection when an error occurred, but since he didn’t, they couldn’t enter it for him. Had he simply objected, the they would have granted me a new trial. He allowed the Prosecution team to have their way as he did nothing.

My victim was portrayed as that of a white man to which that’s what I knew him as when I had loaned him the money. I knew him a few years prior to this. During my trial he was still portrayed as a white man who was married to a black woman. This was done before a Jury of 11 Whites and 1 Black.

Years later….. June 2000, a lawyer investigating the case reviewed an autopsy report and noted that the victim race was listed as Black. She checked with the Medical Examiner because she assumed it was a typing error, but the Medical Examiner assured her the man was of mixed race Black/White and his features looked more white than black but legally…. He’s black. The Medical Examiner gave a swain statement that he informed the Prosecution team when he handed them the report, so the knew the man’s race. When the lawyer approached the prosecutor with hopes of making a deal, she was asked to leave the premesis. The trial transcripts that stated him (victim) as white only days prior were quickly changed to listing him as black, so she felt that a conspiracy was unravelling and she approached a Judge in order to obtain immunity for the initial trial lawyer if she could get him to talk. The judge agreed and she confronted my trial lawyer and upon learning that he would get immunity, he confessed that they “all” knew the victim was Black legally. He agreed- to sign an affidavit in a few days but that never happened because he committed suicide the following day (June 2000). My trial was without a doubt, filled with many gross violations of prosecutorial misconduct and defense lawyer misconduct. It was tainted with injustice and conspiracy. If they would have portrayed the victim as Black, I wouldn’t be sitting here on death row or in any other jail. My trial is an example of the Judicial Corruption here in Texas and our Governor always swears that “Everybody” on death row received a fair trial . The United States Constitution guarantee’s every American the right to a fair trial with an impartial jury. I was deny that right because the nurse who doctored my wounds (eyes) after the beatings was not allowed to testify. The call to the paramedics was excluded, I was not allowed to testify in my own defense and then autopsy photos were used to inflame the jury. The judge ruled the photos of the beaten inadmissible and in a matter of five days…… I had a death sentence.

My case is like many others here that are filled with errors and flaws. Many politicians are called for reforms and guidelines in capital punishment. Somewhere along the way, an innocent life is going to be terminated by execution. I seek desperately not to be that life. Texas is sweltering with injustice and executions are so common that they no longer make front page of the Huntsville newspaper. Governor Bush has stood over 145 executions in 5 years he’s been in office. He has vetoed bills that would stop the execution of the mentally retarded or mentally ill. He refuses to allow a pool of experienced public defender system lawyers for capital punishment and leaves appointment of lawyers to the trial judges. They appoint lawyers who clear the docket and they make “tax deductible” campaign contributions to the judge’s re-election campaign.

There is no justice for the poor, the mentally retarded, the mentally ill and people of colour. All we can do is hope for a brighter tomorrow and pray for miracle in the face of adversity where life hangs in the balances of mock scales of justice. I seek out one chance at a new trial, so that I can properly present all of the facts to the Court that were left out at the initial trial. I ask you for your support so that I may be able to hire to defend my case through the appeals courts and back into the trial court. I need your help with donations at the following addresses listed below . You may also contact me directly here at the prison with a letter if you choose to do so. Each night as I lay my head on my pillow, I pray for Justice, Freedom and the ability to hold my 3 daughters and Grandmother in my arms again. Thank each of you for your time in this intricate matter. Take care and God bless each of you.

Sincerely, Farley C. Matchett
# 999060 Polunsky Unit D.R.
12002 FM 350 South
Livingston – Texas 77351 U.S.A.

Please Help with your Donations sent to:
The Farley c. Matchett Defense Project
c/o Mrs Pennie Matchett
P.O. Box 121
Midway, Texas, 75852

ABOLISH ARCHIVES (Farley Matchett)

Re: NCADP Action Farley Matchett
Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:24PM

Do Not Execute Farley Matchett!

Convicted for killing a man during a dispute about money, Matchett maintains he was defending himself, and he confessed to the crime only because of police brutality he endured while in custody. Furthermore, his counsel made few objections during the trial, and allowed him to be incarcerated for 19 months prior to any trial ever beginning. His counsel also only called two witnesses during the punishment part of the trial and did not follow proper mitigation steps in order to defend his client properly. The case of Farley Matchett demonstrates the use of the death penalty against the poor who cannot afford proper counsel.

ACT NOW by contacting Gov. Rick Perry requesting that Farley Matchett's execution be halted!

Please forward this execution alert. Information is power.

Matchett v. State, 941 S.W.2d 922 (Tex.Cr.App. 1996) (Direct Appeal).

Defendant pleaded guilty in the Criminal District Court, Harris County, William T. Harmon, J., to robbery murder and was sentenced to death. Defendant appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals, Overstreet, J., held that: (1) trial court erred by failing to fully admonish defendant on consequences of guilty plea but this error was harmless; (2) defendant's arraignment in open court did not violate proscription against waiver of jury trial in capital murder trial; (3) defendant failed to show that he was unfairly surprised by testimony regarding unadjudicated extraneous offense; (4) testimony by murder victim's wife was admissible; (5) court's use of extra-statutory instructions did not violate any procedure to be followed in capital murder or separation of powers principles; (6) two versions of capital murder procedure statute did not violate equal protection; (7) court's failure to assign burden of proof regarding mitigation instruction did not unconstitutionally shift burden of proof to defendant; (8) jury's finding that defendant represents continuing threat to society was supported by substantial evidence; (9) defendant was not entitled to use of special verdict form; (10) defendant was not entitled to appointment of expert to determine jury's ability to understand special issues; (11) jury did not improperly consider operation of parole in their deliberations; (12) court could limit defendant's repetitious, harassing, and argumentative questioning of juror during hearing on juror misconduct; (13) court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing juror; and (14) defendant was not entitled to punishment instruction. Affirmed. McCormick, P.J., concurred in result. Maloney and Meyers, JJ., concurred in result in part and otherwise joined opinion. Baird, J., filed opinion concurring in judgment. Mansfield, J., filed concurring opinion. Clinton, J., filed dissenting opinion.

OVERSTREET, Judge. In February 1993, appellant pled guilty and was convicted under Texas Penal Code § 19.03(a)(2) for a robbery murder committed in July 1991. The jury affirmatively answered the two special issues submitted under Article 37.071(b).FN1 Appellant was sentenced to death as mandated by Article 37.071(e). Article 37.071(h) provides direct appeal to this court. Appellant raises thirty-seven points of error. We affirm.

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In his second point, appellant alleges that the trial court erred in taking his guilty plea outside the presence of the jury. Appellant argues that his plea was to the court and not to the jury and as such violated that mandate of Article 27.13 that a guilty plea be made “in open court by the defendant in person.” Appellant argues that his failure to plead guilty before the jury violated both explicit and implicit statutory proscriptions against the waiver of a jury trial in capital murder trials in which the death sentence is sought. Arts. 1.13, 1.14, and 37.071.

According to the record, prior to calling in the jury, the trial court arraigned appellant in open court. The trial court asked the State to read the indictment aloud, then asked for appellant's plea, and appellant pled guilty. The jury was then brought in and sworn. The State then read the indictment to the jury, and the trial court informed the jury, without objection, that appellant had knowingly and voluntarily pled guilty to the charges against him. After the State presented its evidence and rested, the trial court instructed the jury to return a verdict finding appellant guilty.

Appellant's plea of guilty in open court and on the record, albeit not to the jury, was sufficient to satisfy Article 27.13. In Tutor v. State, 599 S.W.2d 818 (Tex.Crim.App.1980), Tutor pled guilty during an arraignment and when the jury was later empaneled and sworn in, the indictment was read to them and the trial court informed them, without objection from the defense, that Tutor had pled guilty. Tutor asserted on appeal, as appellant does today, that his trial was “rendered null” because he had not personally entered a plea before the jury as required by Article 27.13. We held that the facts presented no violation of Article 27.13. Id. Similarly, in Shields v. State, 608 S.W.2d 924, 925-27 (Tex.Crim.App.1980) we held that both the spirit and letter of Article 27.13 were satisfied when in a bench trial, Shield's attorney pled guilty for him, but the trial court obtained Shield's personal assurance on the record that the plea was voluntary. In the case at bar, the court's procedure was an unnecessary variation from what is preferable, but appellant's personal plea in open court and on the record was nevertheless sufficient to satisfy Article 27.13 which seeks merely to establish that the accused voluntarily desires to plead guilty.

* * *

Points of error seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen voice appellant's contentions, respectively, that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury's answer to the second (dangerousness) and third (mitigation) special issues and that we are unable to meaningfully review the evidence because it cannot be determined upon what evidence the jury based its answers to the special issues. Appellant's arguments betray some misunderstandings regarding sufficiency reviews. [18] [19] [20] [21] Texas has followed the common law in assigning the factfinding function exclusively to juries. Tex. Const. Art. I, § 15 interp. Commentary (Vernon's 1984). We had repeatedly held that the “jurors are the exclusive judges of the facts”. Abdnor v. State, 871 S.W.2d 726, 731 (Tex.Crim.App.1994).

That conflicting evidence was introduced does not render evidence insufficient; indeed, the reviewing court must assume that the factfinder resolved conflicts in the evidence in favor of the verdict reached. Turro v. State, 867 S.W.2d 43, 47 (Tex.Crim.App.1993). A reviewing court is not required to determine whether it believes that the evidence at trial established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. Although faced with conflicting inferences, a reviewing court must presume that the trier of fact resolved any such conflict in favor of the prosecution, and must defer to that resolution. Id. Thus, a reviewing court does not sit as a thirteenth juror reweighing the credibility or weight of evidence, but asks only whether the evidence exists to support the jury's finding. E.g. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 2789, 61 L.Ed.2d 560; Chambers v. State, 866 S.W.2d 9, 15 (Tex.Crim.App.1993), cert denied, 511 U.S. 1100, 114 S.Ct. 1871, 128 L.Ed.2d 491 (1994). This is what it means when courts assert that evidence is reviewed “in the light most favorable to the verdict.” Jackson, 443 U.S. at 319, 99 S.Ct. at 2789; Chambers, 866 S.W.2d at 15.

Thus, when appellant argues that we cannot review the sufficiency of the evidence because we cannot ascertain upon what evidence the jury reached its verdict, he presents no grounds for reversal. It is unnecessary to determine upon what specific evidence the jury based its decisions; we look only for sufficient evidence to support the finding. Appellant's nineteenth point is overruled.

Similarly, appellant's eighteenth point urges us to perform the unnecessary and impossible task of reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's determination the no evidence exists which mitigates against the imposition of the death penalty in his case. The United States Supreme Court has held that such a review is not required under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Pulley v. Harris, 465 U.S. 37, 104 S.Ct. 871, 79 L.Ed.2d 29 (1984); Hughes v. State, 897 S.W.2d 285, 294 (Tex.Crim.App.1994), cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1112, 115 S.Ct. 1967, 131 L.Ed.2d 857 (1995). Moreover, to conduct such a review, we would first have to determine that certain evidence is as a matter of law mitigating, and we would have to presume that the evidence presented was credible, that is, that the jury believed it, and we would have to hold that appellant's “credible mitigating evidence” outweighed the State's evidence against mitigation. We are disinclined to declare any evidence mitigating as a matter of law, or to usurp the jury's role of discerning the credibility and weight of evidence; such a course would violate the long standing principle governing the factfinder and reviewing court's respective functions. We reiterate our prior holdings that a review of the jury's answer to the mitigation issue is inappropriate. Colella v. State, 915 S.W.2d 834, 841 (Tex.Crim.App.1995); Hughes, 897 S.W.2d at 294. Appellant's eighteenth point is overruled.

Turning to the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's finding that appellant represents a continuing threat to society, we find the evidence sufficient. In resolving appellant's contention we look at all the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict to determine whether any rational trier of fact could find all of the elements of article 37.071(b)(2) beyond a reasonable doubt. Flores v. State, 871 S.W.2d 714, 716 (Tex.Crim.App.1993), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 926, 115 S.Ct. 313, 130 L.Ed.2d 276 (1994). The jury is entitled to consider all the evidence admitted at both phases of trial when deliberating on the special issues. Id. We have previously stated that the circumstances of the offense, if severe enough, may alone be sufficient to support an affirmative answer to the second special issue. Id. We may also look for other evidence to support the jury's finding, such as character evidence, extraneous offenses, or state of mind at the time of the offense. Id. The evidence here established “a most dangerous aberration of character.” Tucker, 771 S.W.2d at 527. To support his cocaine habit, appellant was willing to brutally kill relatives, friends, and neighbors. Evidence at trial established that in the course of robbing Anderson, a distant relative for whose murder appellant was tried here, appellant brutally bludgeoned and stabbed him to death. During the punishment phase of appellant's trial, the State also introduced appellant's confessions to the equally brutal murder of Melonee Josey, a friend and neighbor. Appellant bludgeoned her to death with a meat tenderizer when she refused to give him money but offered to pay him if he mowed her lawn. The State also introduced appellant's confession of his assault with a hammer upon Ola Mac Williams, a person of advanced years, who refused to pay appellant for lawn work he had not performed. Appellant committed these crimes in the course of a few days and in each case he entered the victim's home as an invited guest. These facts reveal a volatility and brutality evincing a dangerous aberration of character from which a reasonable juror could conclude that appellant possesses a continuing threat to society.FN15 Appellant's seventeenth point of error are overruled.

FN15. See also Joiner v. State, 825 S.W.2d 701, 704 (Tex.Crim.App.1992), cert. denied, 509 U.S. 925, 113 S.Ct. 3044, 125 L.Ed.2d 729 (1993)(one victim was found to have been stabbed four times in the chest and further received a series of lacerations on her neck. The other victim suffered forty-one stab wounds to her chest, blunt force trauma to her head, lacerations to the head, and, her throat had been slashed); Cass v. State, 676 S.W.2d 589, 593 (Tex.Crim.App.1984)(shocking circumstances of the offense established continuing danger to society).

* * *

In his thirty-seventh and final point of error, appellant argues that the trial court erred in refusing to remind the jury in its punishment instructions that appellant had pled guilty. Appellant argues that he was entitled to this instruction because acceptance of responsibility is mitigating evidence. Appellant presents no convincing argument or authority supporting his contentions; he presents no error. The trial court's mitigation instruction provided a sufficient vehicle by which the jury could consider evidence mitigating; the trial court was not required to argue appellant's case for him. Point thirty-seven is overruled. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Matchett v. Dretke, 380 F.3d 844 (5th Cir. 2004) (Habeas).

Background: Defendant whose state court conviction of robbery-murder was affirmed on direct appeal, 941 S.W.2d 922, petitioned for federal habeas relief. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Sim Lake, J., denied petition on procedural grounds, and defendant applied for certificate of appealability (COA).

Holding: The Court of Appeals held that state prisoner who sought to obtain federal habeas relief on claim previously rejected by state court on independent and adequate state procedural ground could not cite ineffective assistance of his state habeas counsel as “cause” for his procedural default, not even with respect to constitutional claims that could only be raised for first time in state post-conviction proceedings. Application denied.

PER CURIAM: Petitioner-Appellant Farley Charles Matchett, a Texas death-row prisoner (# 999060), seeks a certificate of appealability (“COA”) to appeal the district court's dismissal of his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus application on the ground that his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are procedurally defaulted.


In 1993, Matchett pleaded guilty to the capital murder of Uries Anderson by stabbing him and hitting him with a hammer during a robbery. See Matchett v. State, 941 S.W.2d 922, 926 (Tex.Crim.App.1996). Following completion of the punishment proceeding against Matchett, the jury answered three special issues in the affirmative, and the trial court assessed a sentence of death.

Represented on direct appeal by the same attorneys who represented him at trial, Matchett raised 37 points of error. Matchett, 941 S.W.2d at 926-41. In 1996, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and death sentence, rejecting most of the claims on the merits. See id. In 1997, represented by newly appointed counsel, Matchett filed a state post-conviction application summarily listing 72 individual grounds for relief. He briefed but a few of these claims in a memorandum filed in support of the application. The state trial court adopted the respondent's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and concluded that most of the grounds for relief “were unsupported by argument and/or authorities.” In 2001, the Court of Criminal Appeals denied Matchett's post-conviction application, ruling that “[t]he findings and conclusions by the trial court are supported by the record.”

Later that year, the federal district court appointed a new attorney for Matchett so that he could file a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas application. This attorney first filed a successive post-conviction application in state court, however, raising several claims of ineffective assistance of counsel that had not been raised previously, viz., failing to investigate and present a complete and accurate mitigation defense; failing to challenge the admissibility of the rebuttal testimony of State psychological expert, Dr. Walter Quijano, on the ground that the testimony was not reliable; and advising Matchett to plead guilty, with the effect of forfeiting his right to challenge the legality of his arrest and the admissibility of his confession on direct appeal. In May of 2002, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied this second post-conviction application as an abuse of the writ.

Matchett then filed the instant 28 U.S.C. § 2254 application, raising the same claims of ineffective assistance of counsel that had been raised in his second state post-conviction application. He also contended that the trial court had issued an unconstitutional jury instruction on intoxication when it “severely limited” the jury's ability to consider and give effect to the cocaine-intoxication evidence. The respondent moved for summary judgment, arguing that Matchett's ineffective-assistance claims were procedurally defaulted, based on the Court of Criminal Appeals' abuse-of-the-writ ruling, and that the intoxication-charge claim, which had been raised on direct appeal, was procedurally defaulted as well. Matchett replied that he had “cause” for any procedural default because the performance of his attorney during his first state post-conviction proceeding was ineffective, in that counsel failed to raise the ineffective-assistance claims during that proceeding.

The district court issued a memorandum and order granting the respondent's summary-judgment motion and dismissing Matchett's 28 U.S.C. § 2254 application. The court concluded that all of Matchett's ineffective-assistance claims were procedurally defaulted and that Matchett's assertion that counsel performed ineffectively during his first state post-conviction proceeding did not qualify as “cause” to excuse such default. The court also concluded that the intoxication-charge claim was procedurally defaulted. Matchett now seeks a COA from us.

* * *

C. Remaining Claims

Matchett does continue to assert his substantive claims that trial counsel performed ineffectively by advising him to plead guilty and by failing to investigate and present a complete mitigation defense at the punishment phase. He acknowledges that these claims were not presented to the state courts prior to their inclusion in his second state post-conviction application; that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that application to be an abuse of the writ; and that the federal district court therefore found the claims to be procedurally defaulted. Matchett does not explicitly dispute the district court's conclusion that the allegedly ineffective assistance of his appointed attorney during his first state post-conviction proceeding was not “cause” to excuse such procedural default. Rather, Matchett emphasizes that Texas provides a statutory right to post-conviction counsel for death-row inmates.

The procedural-default doctrine precludes federal habeas review when the last reasoned state-court opinion addressing a claim explicitly rejects it on a state procedural ground. Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797, 801, 803, 111 S.Ct. 2590, 115 L.Ed.2d 706 (1991). When the state court relies on an independent and adequate state procedural rule, federal habeas review is barred unless the petitioner demonstrates either cause and prejudice or that a failure to address the claim will result in a fundamental miscarriage of justice. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 750, 111 S.Ct. 2546, 115 L.Ed.2d 640 (1991). We have held that Texas's abuse-of-the-writ rule is ordinarily an “adequate and independent” procedural ground on which to base a procedural-default ruling. Henderson v. Cockrell, 333 F.3d 592, 605 (5th Cir.2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1163, 124 S.Ct. 1170, 157 L.Ed.2d 1208 (2004); Barrientes v. Johnson, 221 F.3d 741, 758-61 (5th Cir.2000).

“Cause is defined as ‘something external to the petitioner, something that cannot fairly be attributed to him’ that impedes his efforts to comply with the [state] procedural rule.” Moore v. Roberts, 83 F.3d 699, 704 (5th Cir.1996) (citing Coleman, 501 U.S. at 753, 111 S.Ct. 2546). “Cause” factors may include interference by officials that makes compliance with the procedural rule impracticable, a showing that the factual or legal basis for the claim was not reasonably available to counsel, and ineffective assistance of counsel-in the constitutional sense-on direct appeal. Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 488, 106 S.Ct. 2639, 91 L.Ed.2d 397 (1986). If a petitioner fails to demonstrate cause, the court need not consider whether there is actual prejudice. Rodriguez v. Johnson, 104 F.3d 694, 697 (5th Cir.1997).

We have repeatedly held that ineffective assistance of state habeas or post-conviction counsel cannot serve as cause for a procedural default. See, e.g., Henderson, 333 F.3d at 606; Martinez v. Johnson, 255 F.3d 229, 239-41 (5th Cir.2001) (and citations therein); Beazley v. Johnson, 242 F.3d 248, 271 (5th Cir.2001). Matchett does not question this. A state prisoner has no constitutional right to an attorney in state post-conviction proceedings and thus cannot claim ineffective assistance of counsel in such proceedings. Martinez, 255 F.3d at 239 (citing Coleman, 501 U.S. at 752, 111 S.Ct. 2546); see Coleman, 501 U.S. at 757, 111 S.Ct. 2546 (“Because [petitioner] had no right to counsel to pursue his appeal in state habeas, any attorney error that led to the default of [petitioner's] claims in state court cannot constitute cause to excuse the default in federal habeas.”). Contrary to Matchett's suggestion, a state prisoner may not cite the ineffective assistance of state habeas counsel as “cause” for a procedural default even for “cases involving constitutional claims that can only be raised for the first time in state post-conviction proceedings.” Martinez, 255 F.3d at 240.

Finally, on at least two occasions, we have rejected contentions like Matchett's that Texas's statutory provision of post-conviction counsel to death-row offenders requires that the post-conviction process must comply with the Due Process Clause. Ogan v. Cockrell, 297 F.3d 349, 357 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1040, 123 S.Ct. 582, 154 L.Ed.2d 464 (2002); In re Goff, 250 F.3d 273, 275-76 (5th Cir.2001) (addressing motion by death-row offender to file successive 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas application).FN1

FN1. Matchett cites Welch v. Beto, 355 F.2d 1016, 1020 (5th Cir.1966), for the proposition that the invocation of “ ‘Texas statutes granting post-conviction hearings' ” gives a federal habeas petitioner “ ‘the right to be tried according to the substantive and procedural due process requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment.’ ” In Goff, we stated that Welch had been overruled by the Supreme Court insofar as Welch implied that Texas post-conviction applicants had a due-process right to effective assistance of counsel, re-emphasizing that “ineffective assistance of counsel in a post-conviction proceeding cannot serve as cause to excuse procedural default in a federal habeas proceeding.” Goff, 250 F.3d at 276.


Matchett has failed to demonstrate that jurists of reason would find it debatable that the district court erred in ruling that his substantive claims were procedurally defaulted. See Slack, 529 U.S. at 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595. Accordingly, Matchett's application for a COA is DENIED.