Emergency Relief Denied for Judge Who Closed Courthouse to Late Execution Appeal
The Texas Supreme Court today refused to intervene and overturn a reprimand issued against Judge Sharon Keller for refusing to accept a late-hours appeal before an inmate’s execution.
The court denied Keller’s petition for mandamus seeking a unilateral reversal of the reprimand, according to the Texas Tribune, the Austin American-Statesman blog Focal Point and the Associated Press. Keller is presiding judge of the state Court of Criminal Appeals.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct had issued a “public warning” to Keller, saying she cast public discredit on the judiciary by failing to keep the courthouse open a short time for the appeal or to explain that another judge was handling last-minute execution appeals.
Keller can still file a traditional appeal, but it would involve a hearing before an appointed tribunal of appeals judges, the Texas Tribune says.