Sharon Keller, chief justice of Texas’ highest criminal court, is known as “Sharon Killer” by her opponents, who are going to see her in court next week on charges of judicial misconduct, Time magazine reports. They charge that Keller refused a condemned man a last-minute appeal in 2007. She faces a trial in a San Antonio courtroom that could lead to her removal and will certainly focus wide attention on Texas’ enthusiasm for the death penalty.
Keller’s supporters, some of whom do not share her conservative views, say she was following the rules and was not responsible for the shortcomings of defense attorneys. They point to her work doubling the number of public defenders’ offices in Texas and boosting their budget from $19 million to $60 million.