Beasley v. State (1995)
In Beasley v. State, 902 S.W.2d 452 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995), the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that where evidence indicates that a gang engages in criminal activities and has a negative reputation in the community, then evidence that a defendant is a member of the gang is admissible at punishment because it relates to the defendant's character. Id. at 456.
The Court of Criminal Appeals held that it is not necessary to link the accused to the bad acts or misconduct generally engaged in by gang members, so long as the factfinder is:
provided with evidence of the defendant's gang membership;
provided with evidence of character and reputation of the gang;
not required to determine if the defendant committed the bad acts or misconduct;
only asked to consider reputation or character of the accused. See Beasley, 902 S.W.2d at 457.