In a response to questions about the judge's rulings, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement to ABC News that Devlin's actions could "endanger the public".
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. Seven were released, including four facing charges of aggravated robbery, officials told the paper.
Harris County Juvenile Judge Glenn Devlin asked each defendant whether they planned to kill anyone, and then ordered their release when they responded in the negative.More news: At least eleven wounded in shooting at bar in southern California
"He was releasing everybody", said public defender Steven Halpert, who watched the string of surprising releases. A follow-up request for comment to his court coordinator was not immediately returned. Associate Judge Stephen Newhouse filled in for him.
In his 18 years of practicing law he says he's never seen anything like what occurred inside the Juvenile Justice Center Wednesday.
Perhaps supporting that suspected motivation, Devlin reportedly reset all of his released defendants' cases for January 4, which is when his Democratic replacement, Natalia Oakes, takes over.More news: AI news anchor debuts in China
"Judge Devlin appears to be abdicating the basic responsibility of any sitting juvenile judge", said Elizabeth Henneke of the Lone Star Justice Alliance, a group that works to get young people out of the justice system and into treatment programs.
"Apparently he was saying that's what the voters wanted", 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. "Meaning that Democratic judges are generally going to be soft on crime". Halpert said Devlin's behavior was odd because he is usually tough on people who appear in front of him. "That's the belief. That's not in reality true".More news: With poo on the podium, Bill Gates talks toilet technology
Democrats swept the benches the night before in 59 local Texas courts, according to the Chronicle. With more than eight weeks before his term is up on the bench, will he continue to allow himself to be caught up in the apparent emotions from his defeat?