Texas vs. Charles Dean Hood, Hearing set after execution

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Since: Apr 08

Pagosa Springs, CO

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#1
Aug 28, 2008
 
I hope that all of you have read Bill's post regarding this case. It is also important to note the article in The Dallas Morning News today. The article is in the Metro section on the front page.

What interests me most is that we are talking about the execution of Charles Dean Hood, again. Collin County spent our tax dollars to prosecute and convict Mr. Hood. It is likely that our tax dollars were used to pay for his defense.

The question is whether Mr. Hood received a fair trial. It has been alledged by at least one former district attorney that the the Prosecutor, Tom O'Connell, and the Judge, Verla Sue Holland were having a sexual affair.

It seems to me that if Verla Sue and Tom had kept their pants on Collin County would not have to revisit this case.

The voters are accountable for the trash that they elect.

Keep up the good work Bill.

anon

United States

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#2
Aug 28, 2008
 
A person was sentenced to death in a proceeding where the prosecuting attorney was having sex with the judge. Under that circumstance, it is impossible to feel that the convicted person got a fair trial.

Both of these adulterors were married to others at the time, yet they held themselves out as model citizens.

Also, it seems the whole legal community in McKinney knew about this but was afraid to speak out.

Finally, these two miscrants refuse to testify about their sordid affair, even though a person's life is in the balance.

The questions for all of us are (i) why do we think things are different in Collin County now and (ii) how can we be comfortable anyone of us could get a fair trial in Collin County if falsely accused of a crime?
LTR

United States

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#3
Aug 28, 2008
 
Tom O'Connell is a good man!
JDL

Redwood City, CA

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#4
Sep 1, 2008
 
I think we need to pay attention to words like "alleged", as in "alleged" affair.
What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
anon

United States

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#5
Sep 2, 2008
 

Judged:

1

JDL wrote:
I think we need to pay attention to words like "alleged", as in "alleged" affair.
What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
Normally I would agree with you but in this instance, these people are using the power of the courts to prevent hearing testimony about this subject. Since the courts are banding together agianst the people on this matter, we are left with no choice. A man's life is in the balance as well as the integrity of the judiciary.
LOL

Frisco, TX

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#6
Sep 2, 2008
 
anon wrote:
<quoted text>
Normally I would agree with you but in this instance, these people are using the power of the courts to prevent hearing testimony about this subject. Since the courts are banding together agianst the people on this matter, we are left with no choice. A man's life is in the balance as well as the integrity of the judiciary.
FYI: Innocent until proven guilty has been gone a long while. When an innocent person is in fact proven so, does he or she get the legal fees, reputation, job, family and friends back? Hardly. They are innocent, but ruined. But I digress.

Have to agree with Anon, these people have refused and done everything possible to keep from talking. And a man's life does hang in the balance. See, they are more innocent until proven guilty than the rest of us.
anon

Frisco, TX

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#7
Sep 2, 2008
 
LOL wrote:
<quoted text>
FYI: Innocent until proven guilty has been gone a long while. When an innocent person is in fact proven so, does he or she get the legal fees, reputation, job, family and friends back? Hardly. They are innocent, but ruined. But I digress.
Have to agree with Anon, these people have refused and done everything possible to keep from talking. And a man's life does hang in the balance. See, they are more innocent until proven guilty than the rest of us.
Exactly!
On A Mission

AOL

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#8
Sep 2, 2008
 
Charles Hood is still scheduled for execution for September 10th, one week from today.
anon

United States

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#9
Sep 3, 2008
 

Judged:

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On A Mission wrote:
Charles Hood is still scheduled for execution for September 10th, one week from today.
Yes, and the hearing we are discussing has been deliberately scheduled for after the execution, Sept. 12. The court does not want the details of this affair to get out and is willing to do anything to prevent it, no matter how badly the court looks for doing this.
On A Mission

AOL

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#10
Sep 3, 2008
 

Judged:

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Okay, I am finally catching on. I am with you on this Anon, this is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
Dry Recuses Self

Frisco, TX

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#11
Sep 4, 2008
 
http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2008/09...

“Here's another dramatic turn of events in the Charles Dean Hood case: Attorneys for Mr. Hood learned today that State District Judge Robert Dry has now recused himself.

Dry had earlier acknowledged he personally knew both the Collin County judge and prosecutor involved who allegedly carried on a romantic affair during Hood's capital murder trial, but before now he'd refused recusal. Here's an initial AP report on Dry's recusal, which he announced citing a "previous business relationship with the ex-husband of now-retired Judge Verla Sue Holland."

No word on whether Dry's decision means next week's hearing will now be expedited to occur before Hood's execution date, which presently is set for Sept. 10. But pressure is mounting for Governor Perry to delay Hood's date with death long enough for courts to investigate allegations of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. Relatedly, this came in today from Hood's attorneys via email:

Today, a letter from 22 former federal and state judges and prosecutors (pdf) from Texas and across the country was delivered to Governor Perry urging him to grant a 30-day reprieve to Charles Dean Hood who is scheduled for execution on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

The former judges and prosecutors are asking the governor to grant a reprieve to allow the Texas courts to conduct a meaningful review of the allegations of a secret romantic relationship between Judge Verla Sue Holland, who presided over Mr. Hood’s 1990 capital murder trial, and former Collin County District Attorney Thomas O’Connell, who prosecuted the case.

The former judges and prosecutors say that “Mr. Hood’s claim appears on its face to have substantial credibility.” In June, a former assistant district attorney who worked in the office with Mr. O’Connell filed an affidavit stating that “[i]t was common knowledge in the District Attorney’s Office, and the Collin County Bar, in general, that the District Attorney…and Judge Verla Sue Holland had a romantic relationship.” Mr. Hood’s trial attorney and a private investigator have also signed affidavits corroborating this claim.

To-date, the Texas courts have refused to consider the charges on their merits or allow an investigation before the scheduled execution. Judge Robert Dry of the 199th Judicial District Court has scheduled a hearing on Mr. Hood’s request to take investigatory depositions of Judge Holland and former District Attorney Tom O’Connell on September 12, 2008 – two days after the scheduled execution.

Bottom line: If Judge Holland or Mr. O'Connell had once ever denied these charges, the controversy would have died down by now. Their refusal to address these scandalous allegations unnecessarily fueled the fire. Whether the affair occurred or not, it's obvious that the interests of justice were poorly served by their silence.”

Good For Judge Dry, for doing the right thing.
CC Justice On Trial

Houston, TX

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#12
Sep 5, 2008
 
More Collin County Judicial Antics

Amazing what powers bloggers now have, isn't it? This case (in terms of an impartial, fair trial) stinks to high heavens.

"If this alleged 6-year affair is admitted, what happens to the hundreds (thousands?) of convictions obtained by O'Connell's office in Judge Holland's court during that stretch in the late '80s and early '90s? What a mess!"

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2008/09...

Two Texecutions scheduled next week, but will either one go through?
Texas has a dozen more executions scheduled in 2008, including two back to back next Thursday and Friday.

The first of those, Gregory Wright, will receive a stay, reports the Dallas News' Crime Blog, to allow DNA testing the defendant hopes will support his actual innocence claims. If there's biological evidence to be tested, I don't know why the courts wouldn't allow it until the 11th hour, but if it turns out to belong to someone else, Wright wouldn't be the first person freed from death row based on DNA evidence.

The other scheduled execution has been the source of more attention here on Grits: Charles Dean Hood is still scheduled to meet his Maker next Friday, but a new judge (the last one recused himself) yesterday moved up the date for the civil hearing to determine whether Hood will get to depose the judge and prosecutor from his 1990 capital murder case to find out if they were conducting a romantic affair during the trial.

Reports AP, "State District Judge Greg Brewer in suburban Dallas moved the date to Monday, two days before convicted killer Charles Dean Hood is set to die."

This is some high drama, isn't it? Will the judge finally allow their depositions?

If so, that could happen as early as Monday. AP reported:

Brewer ordered retired Judge Verla Sue Holland and former Collin County District Attorney Tom O’Connell to be ready to be interviewed by lawyers Monday — if Brewer, after the hearing, agrees with Hood’s attorney that the pair should be deposed.

As for the question in the title of the post: I'd put the odds at a little better than 50-50 that Hood gets a stay, mostly because I think if Holland and O'Connell didn't have an affair they would have denied it long ago, and I doubt two experienced lawyers are dumb enough to perjure themselves.

Having said that, if they did engage in the alleged conduct they're clearly unethical enough to do so. Quien sabe? Who knows what will happen? Stay tuned."

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