April 27, 2009
For Immediate Release
Rep. Burnam to Hold Press Conference on
Impeachment of Judge Sharon Keller
AUSTIN - The Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence will hear public testimony on April 27th regarding a resolution to begin the impeachment of Chief Justice Sharon Keller of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
House Resolution 480 accuses Judge Keller of "neglect of duty" for declining to keep her office open past 5 pm to receive the final pleadings of condemned inmate, Michael Richard, on September 25, 2007.
Richard's appeal was based on announcements made by the United States Supreme Court the morning of the scheduled execution. Although Richard was executed that night, the Court of Criminal Appeals (over which Judge Keller presides) later granted two stays of execution based on the same arguments Richard's lawyers attempted to present.
If passed, HR 480 calls on the House of Representatives to form a committee to investigate Judge Keller for "gross neglect of duty and willing disregard for human life." If the House finds cause for impeachment, a trial would then be held in the State Senate.
"It's one thing for a banker to close shop at five o'clock sharp," said Rep. Lon Burnam, the principal author of the resolution. "But a public official who stands between a human being and the death chamber must be held to a higher standard."
Rep. Burnam will discuss his resolution to form a committee to investigate the impeachment of Judge Keller.
WHO: Rep. Lon Burnam
WHAT: Press conference to discuss the impeachment of Judge Sharon Keller
WHEN: Monday, 27, 2009 - 12:00 pm or upon adjournment of the house
WHERE: 2W.6 - Speaker's Conference Room , Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress AveAustin, TX 78701