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Victim Services Division

Ex Parte Retzlaff Cases

In 2004, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in favor of TDCJ inmate Thomas Christopher Retzlaff who filed a writ of habeas corpus claiming a violation of his right to due process. When Retzlaff was reviewed for discretionary mandatory supervision in both 2000 and 2001, he was not notified that a parole panel would be considering his case for release and therefore was not afforded the opportunity to submit information on his behalf to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

This court decision dictates the following:

  1. An offender must receive and sign a notice that they are being reviewed for discretionary mandatory supervision.

  2. The notice must provide the offender with at least 30 days to gather/provide evidence in support of their release and inform them of the 30 day period in which the Board will make a decision.

  3. If the Board fails to make a decision regarding release prior to the projected release date, the case will be considered Retzlaff.

Offenders involved in cases declared as Retzlaff will be released to supervision without a Board vote.