After Election Loss Texas Judge Randomly Releases Juvenile Defendants

After Election Loss Texas Judge Randomly Releases Juvenile Defendants

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.

Devlin asked each of the defendants whether they planned to kill anyone upon their release, the Chronicle reported, then released them until a rescheduled January 4 court date - the day Oakes takes over the 313th District Court.

His judicial seat was one of 59 swept up by a blue wave in Harris County after people went to the polls on Tuesday - and he reportedly claimed that he was releasing the juveniles "because that's what the voters wanted".

"He was releasing everybody", public defender Steven Halpert told the Houston Chronicle.

"I just think this was a post-election weird blip", Halpert said, accordinng to KTRK.

According to Mr Halpert, Judge Devlin commented: "That's what the voters wanted".

"I would not have expected that from a professional", Oakes said.

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Devlin has a reputation as a tough jurist and is among three Harris County judges with track records of favoring incarceration that led to an increase in the number of kids from Harris County being sent to state juvenile detention centers.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg didn't find Devlin's stunt amusing, however, considering some of the juveniles he released were charged with violent crimes such as aggravated robbery. "We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age", Ogg said in a statement afterward.

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. He said it is not unusual for Devlin to release juvenile defendants if they have adequate supervision at home.

After election loss, judge releases almost...

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

Devlin did not respond to a request for comment from the local news outlet.

Halpert, a Democrat, said Devlin, a Republican, is known to be diligent and thorough - usually running a tight docket.

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