Glenn Devlin, Texas judge, releases defendants after election loss

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

Judge Glenn Devlin, who is known for sending youths to detention, simply asked whether or not they planned to kill anyone before turning them loose. Devlin was one of three Republican juvenile court judges ousted by county voters.

On Judge Devlin's website, he discussed his creation of a Juvenile Gang Court.

"We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age", Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement afterward.

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

Harris County almost doubled the number of youths sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department during Devlin's tenure, but Halpert told the Chronicle he'd seen only one defendant kept in custody Wednesday.

He has released kids facing serious charges before, but as long as they behaved in detention and will have sufficient supervision while free, Halpert said.

Devlin, one of the 59 Republican jurists in Harris County who was replaced by Democrats, allegedly said: "This is obviously what the voters wanted", when he released juveniles who have been charged with a wide range of crimes, according to ABC 10.

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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.

Glenn Devlin has been accused of "abdicating responsibility" following his ruling in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, which came a day after he lost his re-election bid to a Democrat rival.

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

"It is improper for a judge to make orders motivated by partisan interests or spite as a result of his political loss", she said.

We call on the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate Judge Devlin for violating the canons of judicial conduct.

According to a report last month by the Chronicle, Devlin and fellow judge John Philips have a heavy track record of incarcerating juvenile defendants in their county and were behind more than one-fifth of the juveniles sent to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in recent years.

All cases were reset to January 4, shortly after Oakes takes office.

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