Steve Hall of the StandDown Texas Project has compiled a list of news stories related to last week’s recommendation by San Antonio District Judge David Berchelmann that the state’s highest criminal judge, Sharon Keller, should be neither removed from office nor reprimand for her conduct in a 2007 death penalty case.
A brief history on the controversy: On September 25, 2007 the United States Supreme Court announced it would hear a Kentucky case concerning the use of lethal injection, effectively placing a moratorium on scheduled executions. Attorneys for Texas death row inmate Michael Richard sought more time to file a petition to stop their client’s execution, which was scheduled for later that evening. Judge Keller responded to the request by saying that the clerk’s office closed at 5 P.M. Richard’s was executed a few hours later.
Judge Berchelmann’s recommendation is not binding on the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which will make a final decision in the case.
ETHICS CASE: Keller is lucky judge wasn’t just like her
Rick Casey| Houston Chronicle|
Do not remove Keller from bench, findings recommend: Special judge blames missed death penalty appeal on defense lawyers
Chuck Lindell| Austin American Statesman|
Judge who refused to keep office open in Death Row case shouldn’t be removed, ruling says
TCRP calls decision not to reprimand Judge Sharon Keller “reprehensible,” regarding her conduct and execution of Michael Richard
Statement by James C. Harrington Director of the Texas Civil Rights Project