Texas Judge Sharon Keller is having a bad month. Just last week, there was a move in the legislature to impeach her. Now the state judicial ethics commission has charged her with violating her duty and bringing discredit upon the judiciary. It is hard to be sympathetic with her position, however, given Judge Keller’s decision to told the Clerk’s office to close in 2007 when attorneys were rushing over with an after-hours final death row appeal for Michael Richards — who was then executed.
The notice of the complaint cites “Judge Keller’s willful and persistent failure to follow (her court’s) execution-day procedures on Sept. 25, 2007, constitutes incompetence in the performance of duties of office.”
A sitting judge from outside Travis County will be appointed as a special master to preside over Judge Keller’s trial of five charges that she violated the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.
Notably, Keller told the office to close without consulting the other eight judges on the appeals court, including several who stayed past 5 p.m. to deal with the late appeal. Richards was executed at Huntsville after being barred from the appeal.
For a copy of the complaint, click here.
For the full story, click here