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Editorialists call for sanctions on Keller

Special Master David Berchelmann may think that Sharon Keller has suffered enough, but that doesn’t appear to be a popular position. Here’s the Express News weighing in:

Richard’s guilt is not at issue, nor is the fact that he ultimately would have been executed. What is at issue is Keller’s judgment in allowing the state to proceed with the ultimate, irreversible sanction when she was well aware that a reasonable appeal was forthcoming, and without taking the minimally reasonable step of informing the appropriate colleague. She had an ethical responsibility to see that justice was properly served.

Keller has made the Texas judicial system a national embarrassment. She is unfit to serve as the state’s highest-ranking criminal judge. Contrary to Berchelmann’s finding, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct should continue to seek her removal from the bench by the Texas Supreme Court. If the commission does not, Texas voters will have the opportunity to do so in 2012.

And here’s the DMN:

[W]hen it acts on the Berchelmann report, the [State Commission on Judicial Conduct] should focus on the communication breakdowns within the court and the key finding that Keller’s conduct “was not exemplary of a public servant.”

That degree of failure in a death penalty case merits an official reprimand by the commission, and we hope that’s the way the last chapter is written in this judicial comedy of errors.

I hope someone prints these out and puts them on Governor Perry’s desk, since we know he’s too busy to be bothered with the op-ed pages otherwise. Thanks to the Texas Moratorium Network for the links.

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