ACS Blog reported yesterday on a possible judicial impeachment in Texas. Back in 2007, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert in Baze v. Rees - throwing the legality of current lethal injection procedures into doubt - attorneys for Michael Richard sought a stay of his sentence. Unfortunately, they had computer problems. They requested that Presiding Judge Sharon Keller keep the clerk's office at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals open for an extra 20 minutes - after the usual 5pm close. (This court is the equivalent of the Texas Supreme Court for criminal cases.) She chose not to, even though other judges on the court were hanging around waiting for the filing. Michael Richards was executed that night. A discussion of this case appears lots of places - this complaint filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project is a starting point. Download the complaint here.
In the aftermath of Baze, I suppose some might argue that Richard would have been executed anyway. But life is life, others would surely respond, even for one more day. And this case doesn't speak well of Keller (though it's no worse than future President George W. Bush's mockery of Karla Tucker when she sought clemency.)
Now Texas state Rep. Lon Burnham has filed a resolution calling for Keller's impeachment. Nobody is holding their breath on this one - the Republicans own both houses - but sometimes a case like this provides a chance for capital punishment supporters to articulate a commitment to fair process.
H/T David Cohen.