Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, State of Texas
Presiding Judge Sharon Keller was first elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994, and was the first woman to serve on this court. She was elected Presiding Judge in 2000 and has twice been re-elected to that position. Presiding Judge Keller is the chairman of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission and a member of the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission. She is a member of the executive committee and former Chair of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. She is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the Judicial Advisory Council to the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. By virtue of her office, she is also vice-chair of the Texas Judicial Council. In 2003, Presiding Judge Keller received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service from the SMU Dedman School of Law. A native Texan, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Rice University and a JD degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.