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Burnam Files Resolution to Impeach Keller


by: Todd Hill

Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 07:52 PM CST


State Representative Lon Burnam, a Democratic legislator from Tarrant County, has filed House Resolution 480 this afternoon which would establish a Special Committee on Impeachment to consider impeaching Criminal Court of Appeals Judge Sharon Keller.

HR 480 charges Keller with:

"gross neglect of duty and conducting her official duties with willful disregard for human life."

You'll recall that Judge Keller has made a career of sparking controversies and most certainly contributing toward the enormous black eye that the Texas Judicial system currently has.  The motivation behind Burnam's Bill are the actions that Keller took in late 2007 where she refused to keep her Clerk's office open beyond 5PM in order to receive a final plea from death row inmate Michael Richards.

Burnam's release contained the following pointed quote from the legislator representing House District 90:

"It's one thing for a banker to close shop at five o'clock sharp," Burnam, a Democrat, said in a statement. "But a public official who stands between a human being and the death chamber must be held to a higher standard."

Shortly after the closing of the office, Mr. Richards was executed by lethal injection.  This was on the same day that the United States Supreme Court had earlier questioned whether death by lethal injection was indeed constitutional.  You can read a BOR outline by Scott Cobb on Keller's actions by clicking here.  

Prominent publications across the state, including the Texas Monthly, have called for Keller's impeachment.  Burnam has finally taken it one step farther in filing a House Resolution to do just that.  Kudos to State Representative Lon Burnam for doing Justice a great service by attempting to right an incredible wrong.  Keller deserves nothing less than impeachment from the bench.  She is a disgrace to this state, but most certainly to the Texas legal system, and the legal profession itself.        

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Absoltuely agree (0.00 / 0)
This is a very strong step and it has to be taken.  If Judge Keller can't be bothered to do her job, then she shouldn't be a sitting on that bench.  Perhaps she can take an office job where she can leave at 5 p.m. with no life and death consequences to her actions.

Burnam is a voice of conscience for Texas (0.00 / 0)
As usual, Lon Burnam is 100% correct. But will this bill go anywhere, or is it more likely to be quietly buried?

Haha (0.00 / 0)
Love Lon Burnam. He's a fun bastard to work for.

[ Parent ]
.... (0.00 / 0)
.....and I mean "bastard" in the best of ways, for the record.

[ Parent ]
The bill won't go away quietly if we don't let it. (0.00 / 0)
I just wrote four newspapers and my representative about it, what have you done? If we as a progressive community don't get behind this bill and make enough noise it certainly will disappear quietly and it will be our fault. We have to make the public aware and to do that we have to get the media's attention so write those letters to the editor, they don't even all have to get published to have an effect. The editors and reporters will be educated about the issue and its meaning for progressives just by receiving several letters on the topic. It may cause them to see the issue in a different light than they would have otherwise if they were writing about it anyway.

If you don't write your state rep about it then you missed an opportunity to let them know what kind of legislator you want them to be if they're a dem and if their an R then if they don't respond at all call them on it in the next election as unresponsive, if they don't support it then call them on it as out of touch. Whatever happens we have to keep up the pressure if we want to retake the House.

As long as corporations are people and money is speech, then democracy is a farce.


Correction -- HR 480 (0.00 / 0)
If you are searching for the piece of legislation that Burnam filed, it's House Resolution 480. It's linked properly in the article but identified incorrectly. HB 480 is a piece of work by Chisum, everyone's favorite legislator.

Correct -- House Resolution (HR) 480


Good Catch (0.00 / 0)
I'll correct.  Thanks.

Todd

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


[ Parent ]
Impeachment Resolution Gets First Co-Author (0.00 / 0)
State Representative Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio today signed on as a co-author of the resolution to impeach Sharon Keller.

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