Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Republican Judge No-Shows Work After Losing Election, Freeing Defendants

Republican Judge No-Shows Work After Losing Election, Freeing Defendants

"I think this was a post-election weird blip", said public defender Steve Halpert, according to KTRK-TV.

Republican jurist Glenn Devlin caused an uproar when he released every defendant - totaling seven - who appeared before him just hours after losing his election, surprising attorneys on both sides.

Judge Glenn Devlin, who presides over the 313th District Court, shocked most people in his courtroom on Wednesday morning when he released almost every youthful defendant after asking one question - are you planning to kill anyone?

Last month, an investigation by the newspaper found that Judge Devlin and one other judge had sent to prison more than one fifth of all juveniles locked up previous year.

"Judge Devlin was intent on asking my juvenile the same question that was asked".

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

Devlin was one of 59 Republican judges caught up in a Democratic sweep in Harris County on Election Day. The juveniles face charges ranging from misdemeanors to violent crimes. The county's three juvenile court judges who were on the ballot on Tuesday all lost by ten or more points.

Devlin declined comment Wednesday when contacted by the Houston Chronicle.

Youths held in lockups while awaiting resolution of their cases are entitled to hearings every 10 days to determine whether they should remain in detention, the Houston Chronicle explains.

Harris County Juvenile Judge Glenn Devlin asked each defendant whether they planned to kill anyone, and then ordered their release when they responded in the negative.

Devlin was elected to Houston's 313th district court in 2010, according to the court's website.

"We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age", Ogg said in a statement, expressing concern that Devlin's move could "endanger the public".

"But nobody has seen this before", he added.

Halpert said that he only saw one defendant detained.

"I'm not sure that I can wrap my [mind] around what he's actually doing", Alex Bunin, Harris County's chief public defender said.

Judge Devlin also rescheduled all of the cases to be heard during the first week of January, which is when Democrat Natalia Oakes will take the bench.

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