A Conservative Judge In Texas Released Defendants After Losing His Re-Election Bid

09 Novembre, 2018, 06:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A Conservative Judge In Texas Released Defendants After Losing His Re-Election Bid

A Texas judge lost his re-election bid to a Democrat, so he released nearly every juvenile defendant who appeared in front of him for a detention hearing. The public defender said he believed the judge thought "that's what the voters wanted". On Wednesday, as juvenile cases came before him, with defendants facing charges ranging from misdemeanors to violent crimes, Devlin released them, saying that he was responding to the voice of the voters.

"The longtime Republican jurist - whose seat was among 59 swept by Democrats in Tuesday's election - is one of two juvenile court judges in Harris County whose track records favoring incarceration contributed heavily to doubling the number of kids Harris County sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in recent years, even as those figures fell in the rest of the state."
"This could endanger the public", Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

Devlin has a reputation for sending children to detention, and together with another justice, is responsible for a full fifth of youngsters sitting behind bars awaiting trial. Halpert is chief of the juvenile division of the Harris County Public Defender's Office.

Houston Judge Glenn Devlin reportedly made each child promise they wouldn't kill anyone before he allowed them to walk free, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Devlin on Wednesday declined to comment in the Chronicle's story.

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"He was releasing everybody", Halpert said Wednesday. It's unclear how many juveniles were released, but officials said there were at least seven, including four facing aggravated robbery charges. The newspaper found that the two judges accounted for more than a fifth of youths sent to juvenile prisons in Texas previous year.

"I'm not sure that I can wrap my arms around what he's actually doing", he said.

ClassicStock via Getty Images Devlin reportedly reset all of his released defendants' cases for January 4, which is when his Democratic replacement, Natalia Oakes, takes over.

They called for the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct to look into him for violations of the canons of judicial conduct.

"It is improper for a judge to make orders motivated by partisan interests or spite as a result of his political loss", she said.

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