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Trying to reinstate a lawsuit against Sharon Keller

Last year, a wrongful death lawsuit against Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller that was filed by the daughter of death row inmate Michael Richard, the man who was executed in the “we close at 5” case, was dismissed after Keller successfully argued that she had immunity because she was acting in her capacity as a judge. Earlier this year, Keller argued at her judicial misconduct trial that her actions there were in an administrative capacity, not a judicial one. See here and here for more on that. Now Richard’s family is asking the judge who dismissed the lawsuit to reconsider his ruling based on this inconsistency.

Judges acting in their administrative capacity are not immune from lawsuits, said Jim Harrington, director of the civil rights group.

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t argue out of one side of your mouth in federal court,” then argue differently in another court, Harrington said. “This is a judge who understands the law, who understands how important it is to plead correctly … and to say things correctly when under oath.

“I think this speaks volumes about her integrity and her truthfulness.”

You know my opinion about Keller’s integrity and truthfulness. I think this is a creative argument by the plaintiffs, but I have my doubts that it will work. Not because it doesn’t deserve to, I just don’t think there’s any official inclination to open that particular can of worms. But I hope I’m wrong about that. Thanks to Vince for the catch.

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