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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hearing Set for Sharon Keller Impeachment Resolution

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.


81R8266 JSA-F

By: Burnam
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

it

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

1, 2010.

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