Criminal Justice

Appeals Court Reverses Death Sentence, Doesn't Mention Judge-Prosecutor Affair


The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has reversed the death sentence for a convicted double murderer who was nearly executed in 2008 before the state ran of out time to perform the lethal injection.

But in determining that Charles Dean Hood should be resentenced, the court makes no mention of a now-admitted affair between the judge and the prosecutor in his case that created a legal ethics ruckus when it became known years later, according to the Associated Press.

The court finds, in a split decision today, that mitigating evidence not presented to jurors requires that Hood be resentenced, according to the Dallas Morning News. That evidence includes allegations that Hood was abused as a child.

Meanwhile, a group of prominent lawyers last week petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the relationship between the judge and prosecutor in Hood’s Collin County case, the newspaper reports. They include Kenneth Mighell, a former U.S. attorney; William Sessions, an ex-director of the FBI; and former Bexar County District Attorney Sam Millsap.

Hood, who is now 40, has maintained his innocence in the murders of a Texas couple for which he has come close to being executed. They were shot to death in their Plano home in 1989.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com (June 2008): “Texas Judge Halts Planned 6 PM Execution, Appeals Court Overrules, Clock Ticks”

ABAJournal.com (Sept. 2008): “Hood Execution Halted; Defense Alleged Judge-Prosecutor Affair”

ABAJournal.com (Sept. 2009): “Judge’s Affair With Prosecutor Raised Too Late; Appeals Court Denies New Trial”

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