Despite the title of this post, which is a quote from the Special Master’s findings of fact before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, this report will surely be trumpeted by the pro-death penalty crowd as exonerating Judge Keller.
And why wouldn’t it be? It comes pretty close to giving her a clean bill of health, and recommends no sanctions especially in light of the “public humiliation she has already suffered”. I have my doubts that she is doing anything other than laughing all the way to the bench, but maybe she has learned something. Hard to believe since with hindsight she claimed, under oath, that she wouldn’t do anything differently.
Mostly I find it impossible to read the decision(and I’m not sure that’s even the right word for it) without some sense of sorrow. Is this what it has come to? After we kill a man, it’s just petty bickering about who is to blame for not doing this and not thinking about that soon enough? The decision boils down to this: "So what about Keller, his lawyers should have done a better job".
I’ve asked it before: should we kill a man because his lawyer made a mistake?