Earlier this week the 2018 midterm elections came and went, and while the results weren't as great for Democrats as some had hoped, there were still a few blue wins here and there. Houston's Republican District Court Judge Glenn Devlin was one of the ousted Republicans, losing his seat to Democrat Natalia Oakes, and NBC Houston affiliate KPRC reported that he didn't take the news so well.
On Wednesday morning, following the news Devlin had lost his seat, the judge made a ridiculous decision seemingly in protest of the result. Devlin reportedly released several juvenile defendants after asking one question to them, simply letting anyone go if they said they weren't going to kill anyone.
"The juveniles were asked whether they were going to, if released, whether they would kill somebody," juvenile division chief for Harris County's Public Defender Office Steve Halpert told KPRC. "It was a little bit shocking because that's not a question Judge Devlin would ever ask. Or any judge."
Harris County Chief Public Defender Alex Bunin spoke with NBC about the situation, stating that he was "baffled by why he did it. It's definitely not good for the kids in that they are being released without any conditions." Bunin explained that he and some other officials were worried about some of the kids who were released earlier this week, with some of them having no parents or guardians to take them home following their release. Others, he said, required support services for mental health.
"Neither side is happy," Bunin added. "This is different in that it’s across the board. It's just never been done without any consideration of the effect of the release of the child and the community." Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, meanwhile, said that his decision could "endanger the public."
Harris County Juvenile Courts Manager Cindy Milom objected to the reports, claiming only seven of 13 defendants who faced Devlin were actually released.