For Immediate Release
(202) 580-6922 or
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
AUSTIN, Texas - 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.
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.
To view the letter sent to Governor Perry, go to:
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/.