Constitution Project Organizes Amicus Brief in Support of Charles Dean Hood Cert. Petition

Brief is joined by former judges, government officials, and prosecutors in the case of Charles Dean Hood v. State of Texas

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

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, 21 former judges, government officials, and prosecutors filed an amicus brief in support of Charles Dean Hood’s petition to the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to hear the case. Hood was sentenced to death in 1990 for a double murder, but has long protested that his constitutional right to a fair trial was violated due to the romantic relationship between the prosecutor in his case and the judge presiding over his trial.

In 2008, a Texas court ordered both the judge and prosecutor be deposed after years of their refusing to do so, and both finally admitted the relationship. Nevertheless, in September 2009, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Hood’s habeas petition as untimely based on state procedural rules. Today’s brief, organized by the Constitution Project, requests the Supreme Court review the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, based on the clear due process violation that occurred in Mr. Hood’s case.

The brief, joined by Kenneth Mighell, former U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas, Sam Millsap, former District Attorney for Bexar County, Texas, William S. Sessions, former FBI Director and federal judge in Texas, Mark White, former Texas Governor, and others, states in part:

“The conduct of the trial judge and prosecutor in a proceeding that resulted in imposition of the death penalty, combined with the short shrift given to petitioner’s claim by the Court of Criminal Appeals, cast grave doubt on the impartiality and fairness of the trial in this case and tarnish significantly the reputation of the judiciary as a whole. This Court likely is the last court with an opportunity to prevent the infliction of this serious harm—both to petitioner and to the judiciary.”

Click here to view a copy of the amicus brief.

In September 2008, the Constitution Project organized a letter to Texas Governor Rick Perry signed by 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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