Judge’s Affair With Prosecutor Raised Too Late; Appeals Court Denies New Trial
Posted Sep 16, 2009 12:49 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Despite a now-admitted affair between the prosecutor and the judge in his capital murder trial, Charles Dean Hood's conviction won't be overturned.
Because he waited too long to challenge his murder conviction, Hood should not be retried, a divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals panel has ruled. However, the issue of whether the then-undisclosed personal relationship prevented a fair trial could still be taken up with the U.S. Supreme Court or a federal district court, reports the Dallas Morning News.
A dissenting judge said she would have accepted the recommendation of a state district judge that Hood should get a new trial because the state's "hands are unclean" and Hood's defense acted with "reasonable diligence." The prosecution contended that the affair issue wasn't raised soon enough in the appellate process.
ABAJournal.com: "Appeal Over Judge-Prosecutor Affair Should Be Heard, Texas Court Finds"