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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DMN Blog: "Try Not to Laugh" at Meyers' Assertion of Fairness on the Court of Criminal Appeals

We are not the only ones who found it laughable that Judge Lawrence Meyers of the Court of Criminal Appeals issued a re-election press release claiming that the CCA has a reputation for fairness. The Dallas Morning News' Texas Death Penalty blog encouraged readers to "try not to laugh".

What I find funny about that statement is that he was so concerned with the court's reputation this spring that he made an unprecedented tour of newspaper editorial boards to talk about how wonderful the court is. He does not think the reputation is fair, but he made it clear that he knew there was a reputation problem.

What was even more fascinating about his visit was that he claimed that no one ever talked about Sharon Keller's unilateral decision to "close the court" instead of considering a last-minute appeal. That decision -- which the court itself addressed with changes in its rules -- has landed her in hot water, of course, and yet, according to Justice Meyers, no one on the court asked her about the decision at all.

Oh, and we're led to believe that the general counsel for the court, which told Keller it was OK to "close" on the night of an execution, just sorta retired.

Yes, the CCA has a reputation problem. No, Justice Meyers does nothing to help improve it.

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