Death Becomes Her: Texas Judge Accused of Affair with Prosecutor in Capital Punishinment Case

This is what Texas Gov. Rick Perry seems to view a close call. He has said that he is still mulling over whether the stay an execution of Charles Dean Hood for 30 days after it was disclosed the his judge, former District Judge Verla Sue Holland, and his prosecutor, former Collin County District Attorney Tom O’Connell, at trial had an affair — and a hearing on the issue is currently scheduled for after his execution. Despite the compelling evidence of ménage à trial, the issue appears to still be undecided despite requests from twenty-two former federal and state judges and prosecutors calling for the stay.

State District Judge Robert Dry of Collin County has set a hearing for Sept. 12th — the only problem is that Judge Dry has agreed to hear the issue two days after Hood will be executed. Now, to make things even more bizarre, Dry has recused himself due to a conflict with former Judge Holland’s ex-husband, Earl Holland.

They appear now to be running low on judges in Collin County without a personal or professional conflict. At least seven of the nine judges served with Holland, here.

The Texas Constitution states that the “judiciary must be extremely diligent in avoiding any appearance of impropriety and must hold itself to exacting standards lest it lose its legitimacy and suffer a loss of public confidence.” Sleeping with the prosecutor in a death case might be viewed by some as an appearance of impropriety.

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8 thoughts on “Death Becomes Her: Texas Judge Accused of Affair with Prosecutor in Capital Punishinment Case”

  1. I have had to hire an attorney in Texas on 3 occasions. Twice I had to fire them for incompetence. Anecdotal? You bet. Am I qualified to judge an attorney’s competence. Yes I am. My education is as good or better than most of theirs. Do the Texas legal system and the player impress me as paradigms of efficiency, justice, competence and equity? No they do not. Retrograde is the word that comes to mind. My solution is that I now avoid doing business in Texas or with anyone based in the state. I don’t even like to fly through there.

  2. Is it just a coincidence that this example of Juris-prudence is in Texas? Wasn’t that great example of legal reasoning, Alberto Gonzalez a Supreme Court justice in Texas? That explains a lot!

  3. Critical Observer,

    No brainers would appear a perfect match with many of our leaders, but they still appear difficult in cases like this one.


  4. Why can’t I ever seem to draw any sex-crazed judges???? With the sex-magic-mojo I capable of throwing down I don’t think I’d ever lose another case.

  5. What is with this topsy turvy world? Predator cops, crypto-fascist governments (you’re right about that, Seamus) and now sex-crazed judges? Why didn’t she just recuse herself?

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