Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Broken at every level: CCA needs new leadership

"The criminal justice system in Texas is broken at almost every level," the Houston Chronicle declared in its endorsement of Tom Price in his bid to unseat Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Chief Justice Sharon Keller in next week's GOP primary. Opined the Chronicle:
The incumbent, Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, has belatedly recognized that many indigent defendants in Texas don't get a fair shake. However, for years she has maintained that it is not the job of the courts to free innocent defendants from prison. The opinions she has written and joined have overlooked sleeping lawyers, constitutional ineligibility for the death penalty, police misconduct and evidence of innocence in order to keep defendants in prison.
That's not only all true, it actually understates how bad the CCA has been under Keller's reign. That's why Texas Monthly rightly named the CCA "Texas' worst court." (The Chronicle also endorsed state Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, in his bid for a seat on Texas' highest criminal tribunal.)

See the Austin Statesman's coverage of the race for more.

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