Cockrell v. State (1996)

In Cockrell v. State, 933 S.W.2d 73 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), the Court of Criminal Appeals addressed what actions must be taken to preserve a complaint concerning an allegedly improper jury argument. 933 S.W.2d at 89. The court noted that its prior precedent provided that a defendant could complain for the first time on appeal about unobjected-to erroneous jury argument that could not have been cured by an instruction to disregard. Id. The Court of Criminal Appeals then concluded that a defendant's "'right' not to be subjected to incurable erroneous jury arguments" is a right that is forfeited by a failure to insist upon it. Id. The court held that the defendant must object or pursue his improper jury argument objection to an adverse ruling in order to complain on appeal. Id. The court, therefore, "expressly overruled" Romo, Montoya, and "any prior cases to the contrary." Id. Thus, even in the case of an allegedly incurable erroneous jury argument, the defendant must object and pursue that objection to an adverse ruling. Id. ("Before a defendant will be permitted to complain on appeal . . . that an instruction to disregard could not have cured an erroneous jury argument, he will have to show he objected and pursued his objection to an adverse ruling.") .