Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

After Election Loss Texas Judge Randomly Releases Juvenile Defendants

After Election Loss Texas Judge Randomly Releases Juvenile Defendants

The sudden leniency shown by Judge Devlin - who simply asked the youths whether they planned to kill anyone before letting them go - was described as "baffling" by chief county lawyer Alex Bunin.

Four of the children released were facing aggravated robbery charges, the Chronicle reported.

He reset the remaining cases on Wednesday's docket for January 4. That's when the Democrat who beat him during Tuesday's election will take the bench. He said it is not unusual for Devlin to release juvenile defendants if they have adequate supervision at home.

District Attorney Kim Ogg released a statement saying prosecutors opposed "the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age".

Halpert says he heard the judge ask that at least twice, including to his client. Associate Judge Stephen Newhouse filled in for him. "But nobody has seen this before", Halpert said.

After election loss, judge releases almost...

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"Judge Devlin appears to be abdicating the basic responsibility of any sitting juvenile judge", said Elizabeth Henneke of the Lone Star Justice Alliance.

ABC 13 reporter Jeff Ehling shared Thursday morning that Judge Glenn Devlin was not in court for the day, and that court staff was unable to answer questions about when he might return.

Halpert, a Democrat, said Devlin, a Republican, is known to be diligent and thorough - usually running a tight docket. In total, 10-12 defendants were released.

"I think there was an extrapolation on his part that by releasing them he was acquiescing to what the voters obviously wanted", Halpert said. "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".

On Tuesday night, he was one of 59 Republican jurists who lost their seat in the country, in a Democratic rout that also saw 19 African American women win judgeships. 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? And that was, "If I release you will you kill anybody.' And of course my juvenile said "no" and he said "released", Halbert says. "If not, then that might send a message that maybe yesterday (Wednesday) was something out of the ordinary".

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