For Immediate Release
Constitution Project Expresses Disappointment in Supreme Court Refusal to Hear Case of Charles Dean Hood
Fair trial in doubt because of affair between prosecutor and judge, says former Texas Governor Mark White and former FBI Director Judge William S. Sessions
Supreme Court's refusal today to hear the case of Charles Dean Hood, who
has long protested that his constitutional right to a fair trial was
violated because of an admitted affair between the prosecutor in his
case and the judge presiding over his trial. Mr. Hood was sentenced to
death in 1990 for a double murder.
Today's decision by the
Court, without explanation, in Charles Dean Hood v. State of Texas is
separate from a February order by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
that Mr. Hood is entitled to a new sentencing hearing. That order was
based on a legal issue unrelated to the relationship between Mr. Hood's
prosecutor and presiding judge.
The following statement can be
attributed to former Texas Governor and Texas Attorney General Mark
White, and Judge William S. Sessions, former federal judge in Texas and
former Director of the FBI:
"We are disappointed that the
Supreme Court today refused to hear Mr. Hood's case. It means that the
manifest unfairness that occurred in Mr. Hood's case will remain
unaddressed by any court, and the injustice will go unremedied. The
relationship between the judge and prosecutor in this case breached
every standard of fairness that we rightfully expect from our country's
criminal justice system, casting grave doubt on the impartiality of the
trial in this case and tarnishing the reputation of the judiciary and
our criminal justice system as a whole.
"For the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals and now the United States Supreme Court to show
indifference to such paramount injustice, particularly in a case that
resulted in the imposition of the death penalty, should be an outrage to
In February, the Constitution Project organized
an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Mr. Hood's
behalf, from 21 former judges, government officials, and prosecutors.
Governor White and Judge Sessions were signatories to the brief.
view a copy of the amicus brief, go to: http://www.
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.
view the letter sent to Governor Perry, go to: http://www.
The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.