Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Judge loses reelection, so he sets all the defendants free

311th District Court Judge Glenn Devlin Texas Judge Releases Nearly All Defendants After Losing Re Election
Patty Aguilar | 09 November, 2018, 16:35

All of the cases came before his court on Wednesday, the day after the mid-term elections, the Houston Chronicle reported. That's when the Democrat who beat him during Tuesday's election will take the bench. Devlin is one of the judges responsible for sending one out of five juvenile offenders to state prison.

On Thursday, Devlin was a no-show in court.

An associate judge was hearing the cases on the docket.

Public defender Steve Halpert quoted Devlin as saying, "This is obviously what the voters wanted", and opined that Devlin, a Republican, meant to imply that Democratic judges are more lenient with accused criminals.

In his 18 years of practicing law he says he's never seen anything like what occurred inside the Juvenile Justice Center Wednesday.

After election loss, judge releases almost...

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Halpert told KTRK that 10 to 12 juveniles were released. "It was a little bit shocking because that's not a question Judge Devlin would ever ask". Halpert said Devlin's behavior was odd because he is usually tough on people who appear in front of him.

The ACLU of Houston is calling for an investigation by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, saying that mass release, without treating defendants as individuals, is not the goal, and alleging that he failed to ensure that defendants were released safely to their parents, and describing the release as a spiteful response to a political loss.

"Apparently he was saying that's what the voters wanted", Halpert said.

"I just think this was a post-election weird blip". "I think there's an implication by electing all Democratic judges, there's this belief that Democratic judges are going to be soft on crime".

Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin lost his re-election bid to Natalia Oakes as Democrats swept the county's juvenile judicial offices. With more than eight weeks before his term is up on the bench, will he continue to allow himself to be caught up in the apparent emotions from his defeat?

"'If I release you, will you go out and murder anybody?' And so, if the juvenile said 'No, ' they were released", Halpert said, according to KTRK. "If not, then that might send a message that maybe yesterday (Wednesday) was something out of the ordinary".

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