Posted on Jul 12, 2013

Texas judge Elizabeth Coker is facing an ethics inquiry concerning her attempts to help prosecutors during by sending texts suggesting questions. The inquiry follows a complaint made by an investigator. Recently one of the prosecutors - who is now a District Judge herself - filed a response admitting the practice.

This started off as an isolated incident, and now it appears that it was regular occurrence. According to the Houston Chronicle there are reports that Judge Coker was constantly providing questions for the prosecutors to ask during trial.

This case is disturbing on several fronts. The obvious one is the judge acting as a second prosecutor. While defense lawyers aren't surprised at that, you never have actual evidence of it like this. The second disturbing fact is that one of the prosecutors who participated in the practice is now a judge herself. Unfortunately, that is also not uncommon. It's been a common occurence to see prosecutors rewarded for their misconduct by being promoted to judges - witness Ken Anderson in Williamsson County.

There appears to be no doubt this happened. The question is now is going to be what happens next.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.