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Republican judge frees defendants after losing job to Democrat

Republican judge frees defendants after losing job to Democrat

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

Harris County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin released several defendants on Wednesday, reportedly reasoning that this was what the voters wanted after he lost his re-election battle.

It is not known how many juveniles were released, but the number, according to the outlet, is at least seven - four of whom faced aggravated robbery charges.

All of the cases came before his court on Wednesday, the day after the mid-term elections, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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. "It was a little bit shocking because that's not a question Judge Devlin would ever ask". "We oppose the wholesale release of violent offenders at any age", Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

Steve Halpert is the Juvenile Division Chief for Harris County's Public Defender's Office.

Devlin did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

"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", he said.

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Some of those juveniles released on Wednesday did not have a parent present for the hearing.

Only one of the juveniles Halpert saw in court was detained, he said.

The alleged action by the judge follows Tuesday night's election returns that swept all 59 Republican judges from their benches.

"The juveniles were asked whether they were going to, if released, whether they would kill somebody", Halpert said.

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.

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

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


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