Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments in the case of Charles Hood, a Texas death row inmate. This case has garnered national attention from numerous attorneys and legal ethicists because of the troubling questions it raises as to whether Hood received a fair trial.
Andrea Keilen, Director of Texas Defender Service, which represents Mr. Hood, issued the following statement:
“We are disheartened that the United States Supreme Court ruled not to hear the case of Charles Hood in which the trial judge and district attorney who prosecuted Hood engaged in a secret, long-term, extra-marital affair. This is particularly disappointing given that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to date has ignored this obvious and outrageous constitutional violation. Dozens of former state and federal prosecutors and judges and the nation’s leading legal ethicists have criticized the handling of this case by the Texas death penalty system. No one should be prosecuted for a parking ticket let alone for capital murder by the district attorney who has had a sexual affair with the judge handling the case and despite the Court’s decision today, we will continue to zealously represent Mr. Hood as we believe his case was marred by a fundamental injustice.”
According to the Dallas Morning News:
“In February, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Hood was entitled to a new sentencing hearing — for reasons unrelated to the sexual relationship between the judge and the prosecutor. The court said the jury that sentenced him was not given proper instructions on how to consider his background when determining his punishment.”
Read more from the Dallas Morning News: