It's pretty telling when an alleged arsonist on the state Supreme Court is viewed more favorably by Houston lawyers than is the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. At this point, she should just resign. It further discredits and undermines the court every day Sharon Keller continues to sit on it.
The Houston Bar Association's judicial evaluation poll released [May 8] (see it here) shows some big losses in confidence in jurists who have been in the news - especially Sharon Keller on the state's highest criminal appellate court and David Medina on the state supreme court.
Keller, the presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is facing formal proceedings from the state Judicial Conduct Commission accusing her of violating the rights Michael Wayne Richard who was executed in 2007. She ordered the court clerk's office closed promptly at 5 p.m. the day of his execution though his attorneys had a late filing.
In 2007 Keller had 39.7 percent of 78 voters rate her poor and 52.1 percent rate her outstanding. In the 2009 poll, 81.3 percent of 201 voters rated her poor and only 14.1 percent rated her outstanding.
Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina's wife was indicted on a first-degree arson charge in a fire that destroyed their home and a neighbor's house in Spring. This was after a controversy surrounding the Harris County grand jury that looked into the case and the prosecutor withdrawing the grand jury's charge against the judge for tampering with a document.
In 2007 Medina had 28.8 percent of 292 voters rate him poor and 41.2 percent rate him outstanding. In the 2009 poll, 50.5 percent of 315 voters rated him poor and only 21.9 percent rated him outstanding.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Regard for Keller plummets among Houston lawyers
According to the Houston Chronicle's Legal Trade blog, respect among Harris County lawyers for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller has plummeted in recent years: