A Conservative Judge In Texas Released Defendants After Losing His Re-Election Bid

311th District Court Judge Glenn Devlin

Public defender Steve Halpert quoted Devlin as saying, "This is obviously what the voters wanted", and opined that Devlin, a Republican, meant to imply that Democratic judges are more lenient with accused criminals.

Juvenile Court Manager Cindy Milom says Judge Glenn Devlin had 32 juveniles on his docket yesterday.

Before Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin released seven defendants - accounting for almost all of the kids who appeared in front of him the morning after Election Day - he asked if they planned to kill anyone before he released them, the Houston Chronicle reported. By contrast, his reputation names him as one of two judges who most contributed to doubling the number of juveniles remanded to custody in recent years. "Judge Devlin would never normally ask that question of a juvenile. He was upset and I guess interpreting what the election results were that voters wanted Democratic judges who were going to release these kids".

Texas Judge Glenn Devlin lost his bid for re-election Tuesday.

The youths were facing a range of charges but at least four of them were facing serious accusations of aggravated robbery.

Devlin on Wednesday declined to comment in the Chronicle's story.

Youths held in lockups while awaiting resolution of their cases are entitled to hearings every 10 days to determine whether they should remain in detention, the Houston Chronicle explains.

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. He and fellow Harris County judge John Phillips are responsible for a fifth of all minors in Texas juvenile prisons.

On Thursday, Devlin was a no-show in court.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg released a statement saying, "We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age; this could endanger the public".

"But nobody has seen this before", he added.

Judge Devlin also rescheduled all of the cases to be heard during the first week of January, which is when Democrat Natalia Oakes will take the bench.

"I'm not sure that I can wrap my arms around what he's actually doing", he told the Chronicle.