Monday, July 19, 2010
Texas Judge Sharon Keller Reprimanded, the Defendant She Denied Access To, He's Dead
This is one of several Bad Lawyer posts about Judge Keller, the Presiding Texas Judge who refused to hold open the Clerk of Courts office so a filing in a capital punishment case could be received by the court in a a last ditch effort to save the life an inmate, Michael Richard (pic) then on death row. The motion Mr. Richard's lawyers sought to file was based on a U.S. Supreme decision on letahl injection procedures handed down that very morning and likely would have been granted. Because Judge Keller had to go home and meet an appliance repairman, she said, she refused to hold open the Clerk's office and Mr. Richard's was executed.
The ABAJournal reports on the reprimand Keller received from the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct and her "shock and disappointment."
This is a reversal of fortune for poor Judge Keller, a special master previously recommended no sanction having concluded that she had suffered enough.