The Judicial Conduct Commission Actually Moves Against "Killer Keller"

No one gave State Rep. Lon Burnam much of a chance with his call to impeach Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller -- they still don't -- but he may have spurred some action.

In what is either the biggest coincidence of all time or, well, the biggest coincidence of all time, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct -- the same body whose year-long indifference led Burnam to take action -- has put Keller in its sights just days after Burnam's announcement.

The commission charged Keller with "incompetence" and "violating her duty and bringing discredit upon the judiciary" for the September 2007 incident when she promptly closed the court's office even though a lawyer representing a Death Row inmate requested 20 more minutes to file an appeal. An appeal based on a ruling that had come down only earlier that day.

The inmate was executed that night. (Read the commission's complaint here.)

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Keller -- one of our 2007 Turkeys of the Year -- faces a trial and could be removed from office, reprimanded or exonerated.

When even the Associated Press notes that you've been tagged with the nickname "Killer Keller," that's not good.

One twist -- Keller's lawyer is Chip Babcock of Dallas, a friend of many Texas reporters for his work on First Amendment issues.

-- Richard Connelly

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