Arbuckle v. State

In Arbuckle v. State, 132 Tex. Crim. 371, 105 S.W.2d 219 (Tex. Crim. App. 1937), the Court did address the issue before us. The Court began its analysis by noting that, although the statute in question did not explicitly require a "final" conviction for enhancement, we had consistently done so. It was argued, however, that as long as the prior conviction became final (mandate were issued) before the return of the indictment in the new offense, the prior conviction could be used for enhancement. The Court resolved the issue by noting that the indictment charged that the defendant had been convicted of the old offense "prior to the commission" of the new. Because "conviction" meant "final conviction," there was a failure to prove the averment. Judge Lattimore dissented, relying upon the plain language of the enhancement statute and upon policy reasons for a different interpretation. While the policy arguments have some force.