Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

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

Court in Houston Texas Google Maps Street View Harris County Juvenile Court in Houston Texas
Steven Clarke | 09 November, 2018, 06:07

A Texas judge ousted in Tuesday's midterm elections spent Wednesday morning releasing almost all of the juvenile defendants who came before him.

Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin released several defendants on Wednesday, reportedly reasoning that this was what the voters wanted after he lost his re-election battle. Four were facing aggravated robbery charges.

All of the cases came before his court on Wednesday, the day after the mid-term elections, the Houston Chronicle reported.

"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."

According to Halpert, Devlin asked each defendant "If I release you, will you go out and murder anybody?" "We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age", Ogg said in a statement afterward.

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. Ogg said the move "could endanger the public".

China debuts the world's first AI news presenter
It appears that photo-like facial features have been applied to a body template and animated. He explained: "It's quite hard to watch for more than a few minutes.

Devlin declined comment Wednesday when contacted by the Houston Chronicle.

A Chronicle investigation found that Devlin and another judge were responsible for more than one-fifth of children sent to the state's juvenile prisons previous year.

Some of those juveniles released on Wednesday did not have a parent present for the hearing. He said it is not unusual for Devlin to release juvenile defendants if they have adequate supervision at home.

Halpert says only one juvenile remained in custody when Devlin was done.

Harris County Chief Public Defender Alex Bunin told the newspaper that he could not wrap his "arms around what [Devlin's] actually doing", adding, "It's a huge change and the only thing that has happened is that he was not elected so I don't know what to attribute it to", Bunin said.

Oakes, reacting to Devlin's behavior in an email to HuffPost on Thursday, said: "I would not have expected that from a professional".

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