Tribpedia: Sharon Keller

Sharon Keller is the current Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest criminal court.  She was elected presiding judge in 2000 and reelected to that position in 2006 and is the first woman to have served on the court.  A native Texan, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from ...

Dem Judge Candidate Seeking GOP Votes

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals presiding Judge Sharon Keller and Democratic challenger, lawyer Keith Hampton
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals presiding Judge Sharon Keller and Democratic challenger, lawyer Keith Hampton

Democrat Keith Hampton is focusing his campaign to lead the state’s top criminal court on winning over Republicans. That is the key, he says, to defeating controversial Judge Sharon Keller and becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide election since 1994. At least one judicial election watcher says Hampton's got a steep hill to conquer.

Former state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, shown in 2011, took the reins as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System in 2014.
Former state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, shown in 2011, took the reins as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System in 2014.

Updated: The 2012 Holdouts List

Some are waiting to see what the courts will do. Others want to see if any opponents surface. Regardless, with six days to go until the filing deadline, how many incumbents haven't filed yet? A whole bunch.

An Interview with Sharon Keller

The soft-spoken and — until now — media-shy presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals sat down with The Texas Tribune last week to talk about capital punishment in Texas, what she was doing on the afternoon she closed her office at 5 p.m. to a last-minute death row appeal, the flaws in the way the state sanctions judges, what it's like to be known as Sharon “Killer” Keller and the "ridiculous" idea that she doesn't care about defendants or indigent defense.
The soft-spoken and — until now — media-shy presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals sat down with The Texas Tribune last week to talk about capital punishment in Texas, what she was doing on the afternoon she closed her office at 5 p.m. to a last-minute death row appeal, the flaws in the way the state sanctions judges, what it's like to be known as Sharon “Killer” Keller and the "ridiculous" idea that she doesn't care about defendants or indigent defense.

Sharon Keller: The TT Interview

The soft-spoken and — until now — media-shy presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals sat down with The Texas Tribune last week to talk about capital punishment in Texas, what she was doing on the afternoon she closed her office at 5 p.m. to a last-minute death row appeal, the flaws in the way the state sanctions judges, what it's like to be known as Sharon “Killer” Keller and the "ridiculous" idea that she doesn't care about defendants or indigent defense.

Sharon Keller at the 2010 Texas Republican Convention.
Sharon Keller at the 2010 Texas Republican Convention.

Keller for the Defense

Judge Sharon Keller has been pilloried as the villain of the Texas criminal justice system, but supporters credit the chief of the state's highest criminal court with working to ensure fair trials for impoverished defendants.

Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Keller's Lawyer: Lies Led to Accusations

The investigation into Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Chief Justice Sharron Keller is closer to a conclusion today. Earlier this year a judge recommended that Keller should not be sanctioned after she was accused of closing the clerk's office and blocking a final appeal for death row inmate Michael Wayne Richard. Ben Philpott, who reports for KUT News and the Tribune, has more on today’s judicial oversight panel hearing.
State Share of Indigent Defense Costs 2001-2009
State Share of Indigent Defense Costs 2001-2009

Defenseless

Before adopting the Fair Defense Act in 2001, Texas was considered abysmal in legal circles when it came to providing representation for the poor. Proponents and critics of the current system agree the situation has improved since lawmakers started requiring counties to implement minimum representation standards. But has it improved enough?

Sharon Keller Might Walk

The Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals should not be reprimanded for actions that led to the execution of a death row inmate in 2007: That's the opinion of the judge who presided over her ethics trial last year. Ben Philpott, reporting for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this story.