Area juvenile judge loses election, then ‘wholesale releases’ defendants the next day

Court in Houston Texas

He reportedly released nearly every juvenile defendant who appeared before his court Wednesday, after simply asking if they would end up killing anyone.

Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin asked the seven kids in his courtroom if they planned to kill someone before releasing them, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin lost his seat to his Democratic opponent in the midterm election. "Apparently he was saying that's what the voters wanted".

Harris County public defender Steven Halpert, who was in court when the string of releases occurred, told the newspaper that Devlin was "releasing everybody".

"I think he may have to be consistent and continue this practice", Halpert said.

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

The released defendants will have their cases heard on January 4, when Democratic Judge Natalia Oakes takes over.

Oakes, reacting to Devlin's behavior in an email to HuffPost on Thursday, said: "I would not have expected that from a professional".

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.

More news: Marine combat veteran kills 12 in crowded California bar

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, a Democrat who was not on this year's ballot, reacted negatively to the actions by Judge Devlin.

The district attorney was concerned about the haphazard releases.

The stories differ on the number of juveniles released.

"Judge Devlin's mass release of children today, without any apparent concern for the children's safety or for ensuring that they are released to their parents, proves his detachment from the needs of each child".

In Texas, defendants that are under 18 can either be held in detention or released to their families at the discretion of judges.

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

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

A Texas judge who wasn't re-elected released juveniles who had appeared before him, a public defender said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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