Charles Hood Appeal Dismissed by Texas Criminal Court

Evidence that could prove Hood was wrongfully denied an impartial judge and trial may never be heard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matthew Allee,  (202) 580-6922 or mallee@constitutionproject.org

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the habeas application of Charles Dean Hood today, ignoring evidence that his right to a constitutionally fair trial was inherently violated because of the romantic relationship between his prosecutor and the judge presiding over his trial.

Charles Hood was convicted of murder in 1989. But just last year, a court ordered their depositions after years of their refusing to respond to allegations of the affair, and both finally admitted their relationship. The Court of Criminal Appeals used a procedural objection to block granting Mr. Hood a new trial.

“For the state of Texas to ignore undisputed evidence of an improper relationship that violated Mr. Hood’s constitutional rights to a fair trial is inexplicable and a betrayal of justice,” said Sam D. Millsap, former district attorney in Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas. “It is an irrevocable wrong to put a man to death when a cloud of uncertainty and misconduct looms overhead.”

The Constitution Project organized a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry in September of 2008, signed by 30 former federal and state judges and prosecutors from across the country, urging the governor to grant a reprieve for Mr. Hood, who was then slated for execution within days.

Click here to view the letter sent to Governor Perry.

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