Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, has until March 24 to answer charges that she violated her judicial duties by declining to accept an after-hours appeal from a death row inmate in 2007. Michael Richard was executed after Keller broke the rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals by not forwarding the request by Richard’s lawyers to the duty judge. She falsely claimed that the CCA closed at 5 PM.

Keller requested, and received, an extension to a 15-day response deadline after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct filed the charges in February.

The next step in the process — appointing a sitting judge to serve as special master for Keller’s trial — will take place after her response is filed.

Also on Tuesday, March 24, citizens from across Texas will gather at the capitol for a Lobby Day Against the Death Penalty. They plan to meet with more than 90 legislative offices, including all the members of the committee to which Lon Burnam’s resolution to create a select committee to investigate possible impeachment articles against Keller has been referred.

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