We have heard that the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence will hold a public hearing on the proposal to impeach Judge Sharon Keller on Monday, April 27.
This resolution, HR 480 by Lon Burnam, would create a select committee in the House to investigate further whether Sharon Keller should be impeached for her refusal to accept an appeal 20 minutes after 5 PM for a person on the day of his execution.
If you believe that Keller should be impeached, please plan to attend and fill out a Witness Affirmation form in support of HR 480. We will announce the time and room number of the hearing as soon as we confirm those details, but put April 27 on your calendar as a day to go to the capitol and sign a witness affirmation form in support of HR 480. It only takes five minutes to fill out the form, but you have to be there in person to fill it out and turn it in.
H.R. No. 480
R E S O L U T I O N
WHEREAS, The House of Representatives of the Texas
Legislature has exclusive power to present articles of impeachment
against a state officer under Section 1, Article XV, Texas
Constitution, and Chapter 665, Government Code; now, therefore, be
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 81st Texas
Legislature adopt the following procedures to consider the
impeachment of Judge Sharon Keller, Presiding Judge of the Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals, for gross neglect of duty and conducting
her official duties with willful disregard for human life:
SECTION 1. SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON IMPEACHMENT. The House
Special Committee on Impeachment composed of seven members of the
House of Representatives shall be appointed by the Speaker of the
House. The Speaker shall designate a committee member to serve as
chair of the committee and a committee member to serve as vice-chair
of the committee.
SECTION 2. INVESTIGATION; ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. (a)
The committee shall conduct an investigation to consider whether to
recommend that under Section 1, Article XV, Texas Constitution, and
Chapter 665, Government Code, the House of Representatives adopt
and present to the Texas Senate articles of impeachment against
Judge Sharon Keller, Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals, for gross neglect of duty and conducting her official
duties with willful disregard for human life in connection with her
actions on the evening of September 25, 2007, including her
apparent irresponsible refusal to abide by the prior practice of
the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in order to receive the appeal
of Michael Richard, which conduct may have resulted in Mr.
Richard's deprivation of life without due process of law as
guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States and Section 19, Article I, Texas Constitution, by means of a
potentially unlawful execution by lethal injection, and in the
embarrassment of the State of Texas in a manner that casts severe
doubt on the impartiality of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and
the entire criminal justice system of this state.
(b) The committee shall submit a report of its findings to
the Speaker of the House and the full House of Representatives as
soon as reasonably practicable, but not later than the 90th day
after the date the committee is appointed. If the committee
recommends impeachment of the judge, the report shall contain a
draft of articles of impeachment.
SECTION 3. POWERS; ADMINISTRATION. (a) The committee
shall meet at the call of the chair and may meet in executive
session if approved by a majority of the members of the committee.
(b) The committee has all the powers granted to a standing
committee under the Rules of the House of Representatives and under
Subchapter B, Chapter 301, Government Code, including the power to
issue process to procure testimony or other evidence.
(c) On the request of the committee, the House of
Representatives or the Texas Legislative Council shall provide the
staff necessary to assist the committee in carrying out its duties.
(d) The operating expenses of the committee shall be paid as
determined by the Committee on House Administration.
SECTION 4. EXPIRATION. This resolution expires and the
House Special Committee on Impeachment ceases to exist on January