Butcher v. State

In Butcher v. State, 454 S.W.3d 13, 20 (Tex.Crim.App. 2015), the Court clarified that although it had abolished factual-sufficiency review as it applies to criminal convictions in Brooks v. State, 323 S.W.3d 893 (Tex.Crim.App. 2010), "affirmative defenses may be evaluated for both legal and factual sufficiency." Butcher, 454 S.W.3d at 20. In a legal-sufficiency review of an affirmative defense, the Court explained, "reviewing courts should first assay the record for a scintilla of evidence favorable to the factfinder's finding and disregard all evidence to the contrary unless a reasonable factfinder could not." Id. In a review of this nature, a jury's rejection of a defendant's affirmative defense "should be overturned for lack of legal sufficiency only if the appealing party establishes that the evidence conclusively proves his affirmative defense, and 'no reasonable factfinder was free to think otherwise.'" Id. When examining the factual sufficiency of a jury's rejection of an affirmative defense, however, an appellant court must examine the evidence in a neutral light, but may only overrule a jury's verdict if it is against the "great weight of the evidence as to be manifestly unjust, conscience-shocking, or clearly biased." Id.