"Soft-spoken and a devout Christian, Judge Sharon Keller presides as chief justice of Texas’ highest criminal court. She’s also known as “Sharon Killer” by her opponents, who are going to see her in court next week on charges of judicial misconduct. They charge that Keller refused a condemned man a last-minute appeal in 2007. Now she faces a trial in a San Antonio courtroom that could lead to her removal and will certainly focus wide attention on Texas’ enthusiasm for the death penalty.
“Keller finds herself at this pass because of a four-word sentence she uttered on Sept. 25, 2007: "We close at 5.” According to a newspaper interview with Keller in October 2007 and pretrial testimony last year, she said those words to Ed Marty, general counsel for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). As the court’s logistics officer, Marty had called the judge at the behest of lawyers for Michael Richard, 49, who had been on death row for two decades and whose execution was scheduled for that evening.
“The lawyers were allegedly having computer trouble and problems getting last-minute paperwork to the Austin court. Keller was reportedly at her home dealing with a repairman that afternoon when she got the request — and made her reply. Richard’s lawyers failed to meet the deadline, and at 8:23 p.m. Richard was declared dead following a lethal injection.”
I hope they throw her off the bench. I once kept a Catholic judge so late that a hearing on an emergency order of protection started at 6 pm. And this judge closed her door to a death penalty appeal? Even Supreme Court justices are available on weekends!