Friday, August 21, 2009

Killer's defense rests

Hard to characterize this obnoxious aggression as "defense":

“Judge Keller didn't close the court to anybody,” said Chip Babcock, Keller's attorney. “Michael Richard's lawyers never knocked on the right doors and they gave up.”

Screw you, Chip. Right in your Swiss bank account.

See, that's the problem with people who think they're above the law, that favor judicial procedure over actual justice.

If the facts are as reported, Judge Keller should be removed from the bench. It would show monumental callousness, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of justice, for a judge to think that a brief delay in closing a court office should take precedence over a motion that raises constitutional objections to an execution. If the facts have been misreported, the impeachment process would allow Judge Keller to set the record straight.

Impeaching a judge is not a step a legislature should take lightly. It is important that judges be insulated from political pressures so they have the independence necessary to administer justice fairly. But judges cannot be allowed to use their extraordinary discretion to deny litigants the fundamentals of due process. That is especially true if the stakes are literally life or death.

Really though, to be fair to Keller, she's just following Supreme Court precedent.

The outcome here won't be known for weeks, even months, but to expect anything more than a whitewash by the ethics panel would simply be naive.

This is Texas, after all.

Update: Charlie's got a good take and some excellent linkage.

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