death penalty ethics execution judiciary sharon keller State Commission on Judicial Conduct

Prosecutors Urge for Punishment of Judge Sharon Keller

“Effort to Remove Judge Resumes”, Austin American Statesman, Chuck Lindell
On Wednesday, February 17, 2010, prosecutors objected to a report which said Judge Sharon Keller broke no law in 2007 when she refused to accept a last minute appeal to stop the execution of Michael Richard. Prosecutors argue that Keller deserves to be reprimanded or removed from office for refusing the appeal, dismissing the finds by Special Master David Berchelmann, Jr. who in January 2010 advised that although Keller acted in poor judgement she should not be tried on ethical charges.
In documents submitted to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, prosecutors argued that Keller’s actions amounted to “incompetence” which according the the state constitution is ground for “reprimanding or removing an elected judge from office.”
The commission will hear arguments by both the prosecution and Keller’s defense and then decide whether to drop the charges, reprimand Keller, or recommend her removal from office. According the the Statesman article such a process could take weeks if not months. At the moment the commission has not scheduled a meeting to begin hearings.

To read the entire Austin American Statesman Article click here.

Additional coverage by Google News can be found here or by San Antonio Express News click here.
For background information on Judge Keller, or information regarding the report filed in January click here.