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Mary Lou Keel began serving on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on January 1, 2017, after winning the 2016 primary and general elections. 


She was unopposed in the 2022 election and declared elected on September 1, 2022.

Before serving on the Court of Criminal Appeals, she presided  over the 232nd District Court, a felony trial court in Harris County, from 1995 through 2016.


She served as an assistant district attorney in both the trial and appellate courts for seven years.


Judge Keel began her legal career as a briefing attorney at the First Court of Appeals, an intermediate appellate court.


She has been board certified in criminal law since 1990.


Her career has concentrated on Texas criminal law and has combined both trial and appellate work.


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