Sharon Keller impeachment bill filed- HR 480

Court of Criminal Appeals judge Sharon Keller has been described as “Texas’ Judge Dread”. A self described “pro prosecutor” judge who not only shown a reckless disregard for innocence claims, but infamously closed the courthouse denying a death penalty appeal for Michael Richards.

From the Star Telegram-

Fort Worth State Rep. Lon Burnam filed a resolution this afternoon calling for the impeachment of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller.

Keller sparked controversy and condemnation two years ago when she refused to keep the court open past 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 to allow for a last-minute appeal for condemned killer Michael Wayne Richard who was awaiting execution…

Burnam’s resolution, house resolution 480, charges Keller, a Republican, with “neglect of duty” over the incident and charges her with operating with “willful disregard for human life.”

The charges against Keller are serious, and an impeachment trial would be a proper venue to litigate those claims. Plus an impeachment trial would be great blog material. Would Sharon mind having only “pro impeachment” Senators at her hearing, or having her arguments denied because the clerk’s office arbitrarily closed?

Let’s end with a quote from Houston defense lawyer Mark Bennett.

The courthouse shouldn’t belong to one party or the other. Since taking the bench, Judge Keller has kept her promise to reserve the keys to the courthouse for the State. She has proven herself a master of results-oriented jurisprudence — ruling for the government not because the law requires it, but because she is prosecution-oriented. It’s time for her to go.

Further Reading-
Fort Worth’s Shawn Matlock on HR 480
HR 480
Sharon Killer
Grits- Sharon Keller Should Quit and Go Home

Posted in:

3 responses to “Sharon Keller impeachment bill filed- HR 480”

  1. Ben says:

    She should be impeached for declaring herself anything other than neutral!

    I actually don’t care one way or the other about the Michael Wayne Richard incident. The timing of that last appeal was an intentional attempt on the part of the defense attorney to gain an automagic stay by filing it at 4:45pm. He hopee that the justices would be forced to grant an stay because they wouldnt have enough time to rule that particular evening. This is a common tactic, or at least it was until they changed filing deadline rules in response to the uproar over this event. The plan would have worked too if not for the fact that the attorney had computer problems the afternoon of the execution. So basically he was playing fast and loose with the rules and this time he came up short. Its not like Mr. Richard had not already had multiple appeals go against him… he wasn’t even claiming to be innocent.

  2. Feisty says:

    I agree that she should be impeached. If Texans want pro-prosecution judges, they should encourage the legislature to abolish the legal basis for judicial neutrality. As this has not happened (at least to my knowledge), it seems clear that Judge Keller is unfit, and unable to serve.

    Beyond that, I think that Judge Keller’s statements that show her to be pro-prosecution should entitle everyone she’s convicted in a jury or bench trial to an appeal.

    Our entire system of justice is founded on the idea of an impartial judiciary. If judges are blatantly and openly partial, justice cannot be served.

  3. Michael says:

    The majority of Texans apparently do want “pro-prosecution” judges – that’s why they keep getting voted into office. If Richards had been let out and killed again, I bet you’d be complaining that the judges are too lenient.

    BTW – What qualifies you to say “it seems clear that Judge Keller is unfit, and unable to serve?” Have you read her any of her many well-written opinions? Have you practiced before her as a lawyer? Or are you just spouting off whatever the liberal press tells you to think? Richards was on death row for 20 years with numerous unsuccessful appeals. He confessed to the rape and murder of his victim. His attorney waited until the very last hour before his execution to try to file some last-ditch claim.

    Besides, office hours are office hours, they’ve been posted for decades. Why isn’t anyone suing the lawyer who was late? He has had years to file it.

    It wasn’t a matter of life or death, it was a matter of injecting another needless delay into the execution of a sentence that had already passed several tests on appeal. This stinks of an attempt by capital sentence opponents to derail the career of a judge they don’t agree with. It’s a political hit-job.

Contact Information