Judge Sharon Keller, who heads the state’s highest court on criminal matters, is in the dock facing charges that could lead to her removal from office. She should hope for more mercy than she has shown.
This is a woman who voted to deny freedom to a man imprisoned for rape even after DNA evidence showed the sperm belonged to someone else. Her argument: He might have worn a condom. Later evidence provided proof of his innocence even she couldn’t explain away.
This is a woman who, with her colleagues, appointed grossly incompetent lawyers to handle appeals for indigent death row inmates and then said, “Sorry, your client had his chance,” when skilled lawyers later came in to try to clean up the messes.
This is a woman who, a week before Christmas in 2002, voted to deny freedom to a man who under pressure had accepted a plea bargain for a crime that new evidence showed — “unquestionably,” according to the trial judge who heard the evidence — he did not commit.
Now, Keller stands accused of five violations of the state constitution or its judicial code of conduct.
We all could use a little mercy now. I know we don't deserve it, but we need it anyhow.