In today’s series of stories of judges acting bravely and badly, here is one for the latter category. Judge Sharon Keller, Chief Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has filed her response to the charges of judicial misconduct and incompetence for ordering the closing of the clerk’s office after being informed of a last minute death-penalty appeal. She blames the lawyer and denies any responsibility in the matter.
In a story that we have been following Judge Keller’s refused to keep court offices open past 5 p.m. on Sept. 25, 2007, to receive an appeal in the case of Michael Richard, a convicted rapist and murderer. Richard was then put to death that evening.
Keller has developed such a hostile reputation toward criminal defendants that she was known as “Killer Keller” by the bar.
In her filing, she insists that she acted “in accordance with longstanding custom” and that the lawyers could have taken their appeal directly to individual judges when she ordered that the doors should not have been kept open.
For a copy of Judge Keller’s response, click here.
For the full story, click here.