The Best Free Show in Town


If you find yourself downtown between 9:30 and noon on a weekday morning, drop by Judge Larry Standley’s court, Harris County Criminal Court at Law Number 6, on the 9th floor of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center at 1201 Franklin Street (at the corner of San Jacinto).

Judge Standley genuinely cares about the defendants appearing before him, and the plea colloquy when he accepts a guilty plea from a 17-, 18-, or 19-year-old defendant is the best free show in town.

A sample:

He’ll have the defendant’s parent or guardian stand with the kid at the bench. Then he’ll ask the kid: “How many friends do you have?” He’ll press the kid to name a number. Five, ten, twenty-one, whatever.

Then he’ll tell the kid to turn around and look at the courtroom. “How many of those friends are here for you today?” None (of course). “That’s right. You’ve got one true friend, and she’s standing right up here next to you.”

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0 responses to “The Best Free Show in Town”

  1. I worked the appointed docket in Judge Stanley’s court for a month. He is a true believer. He spends time talking to people. He invests what is clearly a real interest in them. While it may be old hat to those who are in there a lot, I continue to enjoy his “talks”. He really does move people to tears. I’m sure many would say, “Big deal. So what. Tomorrow they’ll be out there doing the same crap again” and maybe they are right with most of them. But, with his efforts, there are going to be at least a few who will hesitate to smoke that joint and then go home to their children who will smell it on them (one of his discussions) and there really might be the man who reconsiders while getting ready to wail on his wife – thinking of his daughter getting beat up. I’m a believer in his efforts and support him. I am thankful for those who do not abuse their power but instead actually try to do good – and this is Larry Standley.

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