A death row inmate in Texas does not deserve a new trial even though the judge in his case was having an affair with the prosecutor, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Charles Dean Hood was granted a last-minute reprieve in June 2008 when a former district attorney came forward to confirm long-rumored reports of the affair. The judge and prosecutor later admitted to the secret affair under oath.
In a 6-3 opinion, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Hood's request on the basis that his defense team did not raise the issue in their initial appeal despite the fact that they were aware of the rumors.
"Accordingly, the application is dismissed as an abuse of the writ," the court ruled.
To me, that sounds like Mr. Hood got the shaft. What do you think? Does it mean that if they had raised this objection in the first appeal, a new trial would be allowed? Sounds like the Lone Star State is getting off on a technicality. The only problem is we're talking about a Capital case in which a man's life is on the line.
Wouldn't it be more to the point to examine the decisions made during the trial to see if the judge and prosecutor lovers had teamed up in some way to the detriment of the defendant? Nevertheless, I'd say in a death penalty case, no shadow of impropriety can be allowed.
Here's what I had to say about the case before.
The man should have a new trial. And Judge Holland and Prosecutor O'Connell should be disciplined.
What's your opinion? For a proper analysis of the case go to Talk Left.