A juvenile judge in Houston stunned everyone in his courtroom when he was unceremoniously freed as many as a box of young suspects who appeared before him the day after he lost reelection to a Democrat.
Judge Glenn Devlin, who is known for sending
Public defenders said he complained 'that's what the voters want' as he indiscriminately let defendants go, seemingly implying that the newly elected Democratic Judges would be lenient to criminals.
Judge Glenn Devlin lost his bench on Tuesda y night to a Democrat, and on Wednesday released all seven youths who came before his court saying 'that's what the people want'
The youths were facing various charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies mood from violent crimes.
Democrats swept the benches of Republican justices in Houston.
All of the cases came before Devlin's bench on Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections, the Houston Chronicle reported. ” class=”blkBorder img-share” />
Natalia Oakes, the Democrat who defeated Devlin in Tuesday's election, said she would not have expected this kind of conduct 'from a professional '
After setting the juveniles free, Devlin rescheduled all the cases for January 4, when his replacement will have taken the bench.
Public defender Steven Halpert quoted Dev "If I release you, are you going to go out and kill anybody?" '
Each of the defendants said' No 'and was released on the spot.
Halpert said he had previously requested Devlin to release his client from detention on three separate occassions, but without success.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg hit out at Devlin over the move saying: 'We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age. This could endanger the public. '
Until Wednesday, Devlin had a reputation for readily sending children to detention, and together with another justice, he was responsible for one in five juvenile suspects sent to detention last year in the state.
'I'm not sure Alex Bunin, the chief public defender in Harris County, told the Houston Chronicle. 'It's a big change, and the only thing that has happened is that he was not elected, so I do not know what to attribute it to other than that.'
Halpert said it's not uncommon for Devlin to release a juvenile who has already been in detention upon review, but has never seen anything like what happened on Wednesday.
'The voters of Harris County clearly wanted a change in the juvenile courts, and Judge Devlin today is showing us why the voters may have wanted change, "said Jay Jenkins, a policy attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.
Devlin, who sees Harris County Juvenile Court in Houston (pictured), is notorious for sending youths to detention,
The ACLU of Texas is calling on the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate Judge Devlin, accusing him of releasing de juveniles uden hensyn til deres sikkerhed og uden at sikre at de er frigjort til deres foreldre.
'It is improper for a judge to make orders motivated by partisan interests or in spite of his political loss,' said Sharon Watkins Jones, director of political strategies for the ACLU of Texas.
Natalia Oakes, The Democrat who beat Devlin in the election, told KTRK she would not have expected this kind of conduct 'from a professional.' .