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Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Keller’

The enduring mystery of Lawrence Meyers

People are still speculating about why the enigmatic CCA Judge switched parties. Lawrence “Larry” Meyers did something last year that no other politician in Texas has done in nearly two decades: He became a statewide Democratic officeholder. As Democrats gather in Dallas this week for their state convention, Meyers — a Court of Criminal Appeals […]

DeLay gets his day before the CCA

Looks like he might have had a pretty good day, too. Oral arguments in Tom DeLay’s decadelong legal fight with the Travis County District Attorney’s office heated up Wednesday as Republican judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals questioned whether prosecutors could prove the former House majority leader illegally funneled corporate money to state […]

Who judges the judges?

Meet the guy that’s been going after judges with behavioral issues. The photograph at the top of Greg Enos’ monthly email newsletter is always the same: A pack of mongooses confronting a reared-up cobra. The Webster family lawyer says the image is a symbol of a change he aims to kindle in the Houston-area legal […]

DeLay wants to sue

Whatever you say, dude. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, reveling in victory Thursday against Texas prosecutors in a money-laundering case, said his political career is over but he’s eager to return to the courthouse. If he can find a lawyer “with a backbone,” DeLay said, he’ll considering suing the Travis County district attorney for […]

Keller accepts a plea deal on ethics charge

She gets off pretty lightly, if you ask me. Sharon Keller, the state’s top criminal court judge, has reached a deal to substantially reduce a record $100,000 fine levied by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to fully disclose millions of dollars of real estate and income in financial statements. Under the settlement, released Friday, […]

Are two courts better than one?

Why exactly do we need two top courts in Texas? A proposal for the upcoming legislative session is resuscitating a debate that goes back to the writing of the Texas Constitution in 1876. The bill, authored by state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, would abolish the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court […]

2012 election results

As I type this there are still a number of unsettled races in Texas, so things may change between now and tomorrow morning after we’ve all had an insufficient night’s sleep. But here’s how they stand at this time, and I will use my what I’ll be looking for post as a jumping off point. […]

What I’ll be looking for tonight

Just a reminder that I’ll be on KPFT tonight starting at 7 PM to talk about the elections. Here’s a preview of the things I’ll be looking for: 1. SD10 – Sen. Wendy Davis vs Mark Shelton: Easily the most important race on the ballot in Texas. Davis has been a progressive champion and a […]

Endorsement watch: The Statesman gets in the game

In addition to their Sunday endorsement of Paul Sadler, the Statesman made up for lost time last week by finally getting around to making endorsements in various races. Among their first was a nice recommendation of John Courage. Texas Senate, District 25 District 25, which stretches from South Austin to northern San Antonio and Bexar […]

Overview of the Keller-Hampton race

This story covers a lot of familiar ground, but it’s worth going over again. Three judges on Texas’ highest criminal court are seeking re-election in November, including Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, who’s been a lightning rod for controversy since her last test of voters in 2006. Elected to Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994, […]

Endorsement watch: Four for four

The Express-News gets on the Keith Hampton bus. When one of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller’s Republican colleagues said she had made the court a “national laughingstock,” he was being generous. Keller’s controversial judicial actions are no laughing matter. And that’s why we urge Texans to cast ballots in the general […]

Endorsement watch: The Chron for Hampton

The Chron joins the DMN and the Star-Telegram in endorsing Keith Hampton for the Court of Criminal Appeals. We highly recommend that voters cast their ballots instead for Democratic challenger Keith Hampton. This endorsement is not merely a rejection of the incumbent judge’s poor track record, but enthusiastic support for Hampton’s impressive history of working […]

Hampton going after Keller

I wish him the best of luck. The ethics behind Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller’s decision to shut the doors on a death penalty appeal are resurfacing as her opponent launches a contentious campaign against her. Democratic defense lawyer Keith Hampton is striking out at Keller, a Dallas resident who’s held the […]

Re-Filing deadline roundup

The re-filing deadline was Friday, and as expected there was a flurry of activity on the final day. I’m going to do a news roundup to highlight what went on and who’s now running for what. You can find a list of filings that the Texas Democratic Party is aware of here, but bear in […]

Can someone beat Sharon Keller this time?

Grits notes that CCA Presiding Judge Sharon Keller has opponents in March and in November – her colleague Larry Meyers for the former, and 2010 Dem CCA candidate Keith Hampton for the latter – and wonders if either of them can defeat Texas’ worst judge. Judge Meyers probably faces shorter odds than Hampton at unseating […]

Meyers to challenge Keller in GOP primary

There will be a little hot judge on judge action in next March’s Republican primary. Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Lawrence “Larry” Meyers has told colleagues that he will challenge fellow jurist Sharon Keller in the Republican primary for the court’s presiding judge position. Keller famously fought and ultimately won a legal battle against the […]

Another complaint filed against Keller

This ought to be interesting. A civil rights group is asking the state to revoke the law license of a judge who has been a lightning rod in debates over the death penalty. The Austin-based Texas Civil Rights Project filed a grievance Wednesday with the State Bar of Texas against Justice Sharon Keller, the presiding […]

It’s official, Keller skates

Can’t say I’m surprised. Bitterly disappointed, but not surprised. A special court of review on Monday declined to reconsider a decision to void an ethics rebuke given to Sharon Keller for her role in a botched execution-day appeal, apparently ending the case against Texas’ top criminal judge. Prosecutors had argued that the special court mistakenly […]

Maybe we’re not on the hook for Keller’s legal fees after all

Well, at least it’s a small consolation. Clearing up confusion in its dismissal of an ethics rebuke against Judge Sharon Keller, a special court of review has issued an order that no longer makes taxpayers liable for Keller’s legal costs. The court’s original Oct. 11 order said Keller could recoup legal costs from the State […]

Maybe Keller hasn’t gotten away with it just yet

Could there possibly be some accountability in this world? [The state Commission on Judicial Conduct]‘s executive director, Seana Willing, asked the panel to reconsider its decision to dismiss the case, which stemmed from Keller’s actions on the day Michael Wayne Richard was executed in 2007. The three-judge panel had ruled that because the commission had […]

Keller takes a victory lap

She’s still blaming others and lying about the facts. Texas’ top criminal judge said Tuesday that she feels vindicated that a special court dismissed a public reprimand of her for closing her court and preventing lawyers from filing a last-minute appeal hours before their client was executed. “What happened to me shouldn’t happen to any […]

Keller gets away with it

I’m thoroughly disgusted. A special court of review Monday threw out an ethics rebuke given to Presiding Judge Sharon Keller for closing the Court of Criminal Appeals at 5 p.m. despite knowing that lawyers wanted to file an appeal for an inmate facing imminent execution in 2007. [...] Bringing the high-profile case to a swift […]

Keller’s final appeal

You have to admire the tenacity, I’ll give her that much. A special court of review plans to decide by Oct. 8 whether to dismiss a judicial ethics panel’s rebuke of Judge Sharon Keller or move forward with her appeal. Keller appeared before the special court’s three-judge panel Monday to push for dismissal now, avoiding […]

Keller’s appeal denied by Supremes

Poor baby. The Texas Supreme Court this morning denied Judge Sharon Keller’s request to throw out last month’s public rebuke for her role in a botched 2007 death row appeal. Later today, Keller’s lawyers are expected to file a separate appeal challenging the “public warning” given by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. That appeal […]

SCJC contests Keller’s appeal

When last we met, Sharon Keller had appealed the curious “warning” she received from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Commission had acted “lawlessly” by issuing that particular sanction. The Commission has now fired back, saying essentially that it’s Keller who has violated protocol: [I]nstead of appealing the […]

Keller appeals to Supreme Court

She’s still going for full vindication. Because as far as she’s concerned, she did nothing wrong. [I]n a Supreme Court petition filed Thursday, Keller argued that the commission acted in a “lawless” manner because the Texas Constitution forbids it to issue such a warning. “The order violates the constitution and is void. At the very […]

What is this “warning” of which you speak?

I’m glad to see that someone is asking questions about the warning that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct handed down to Sharon Keller. Seana Willing, the commission’s examiner, contends in an e-mail that the order is based on a rule that does not comport with the Texas Constitution. As examiner in judicial misconduct cases, […]

“Warning” versus “reprimand”

Rick Casey answers a question that has been bugging me about the State Commission on Judicial Conduct ruling that issued a “public warning” to Sharon Keller. A majority of the panel agreed that Keller needed to be sanctioned for ignoring the procedures she admitted to knowing. Because of the poor performance of Richard’s lawyers and […]

Keller gets “public warning” from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct

No, I don’t know what a “public warning” is, either. It’s the first time I’ve heard that phrase. But it’s what the Trib says Sharon Keller got as her “punishment” from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. What it sounds like to me is something less than a censure, which says to me they wimped […]

The softer side of Sharon Keller

The Trib lets us know that there’s more to Sharon Keller than willful indifference to death penalty appeals and rigid fealty to the prosecutorial perspective. For nearly as long as she has led the state’s highest criminal court, Keller has also served as chairwoman of the Task Force on Indigent Defense. Lawmakers created the task […]

The Keller hearings

The current phase of the Sharon Keller saga may end soon. Sharon Keller, fighting to keep her job as the state’s top criminal court judge, should know her fate soon. After a five-hour hearing Friday, members of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct met privately to begin deliberating charges that in 2007 Keller improperly closed […]

Keller hearing today

Today is the day for the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to have its hearing on the Sharon Keller case and to decide what to do with the findings of the Special Master. Today, prosecutors plan to argue that [Special Master David] Berchelmann’s findings were misguided and that the evidence showed Keller failed to perform […]

Keller may yet face criminal charges

Grits read through the TEC ruling against Sharon Keller, who was hit with a record $100K fine for various failures to disclose financial information, and notes that the system isn’t done with Keller yet, as there is still the matter of a pending criminal complaint against her. I called [Travis County Attorney David] Escamilla to […]

Keller gets slammed by Ethics Commission

Wow. The Texas Ethics Commission has levied a record $100,000 fine against Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller for failing to make full financial disclosures in 2007 and 2008. [...] The commission in an order made public on its Web site today said Keller in 2006 failed to report between 100-499 shares […]