The Judicial Conduct Commission Actually Moves Against "Killer Keller"

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.)

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

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.