A Harris County Judge decides to release nearly all the juvenile defendants who appeared before him, one day after losing his bid for re-election. Judge Glenn Devlin was one of 59 Republican judges who were swept out of office, apparently by straight-ticket voting in Harris County...
"The juveniles were asked whether they were going to - if released - whether they would kill somebody. And it was a little bit shocking because that's not a question that Judge Devlin would ever normally ask; or any judge."
Steve Halpert - the Juvenile Division Chief for the Harris County Public Defender's Office - tells our TV partner KPRC Channel-2 he heard Judge Devlin say he was just doing what the voters wanted, a reference he took to suggest that democratic judges are softer on crime.
"I think there was an extrapolation on his part that by releasing them he was acquiescing to what the voters obviously wanted, meaning that Democratic judges are generally going to be soft on crime. That's the belief; that's not in reality true."
The juveniles were accused of offenses ranging from misdemeanors to violent crimes. Harris County DA Kim Ogg released a statement saying, "We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age; this could endanger the public."
Judge Devlin rescheduled all cases for the first week of January, after the newly-elected judge takes the bench.