A couple of the Harris County felony court judges deselected by the voters in November have, as I noted before, hung out their shingles as would-be criminal-defense lawyers. They will, no doubt, advertise their ex-judgeness to the potential clients as a positive. And judicial experience could well be a positive in some cases.
One of these ex-judges, however (we’ll call her “Ms. Hanger”), as recently as December was going out of her way to make the lives of people accused of crimes in her court miserable for misery’s own sake. I have one particular client whose bail she increased tenfold for no good reason so that he would spend the holidays in jail; as soon as her replacement was on the bench bail came back to the value dictated by the judges’ agreed bail schedule, and the accused was back with his family.
As president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, I welcome all new members of the criminal defense bar, no matter what their background. This is the official line.
But as a criminal-defense lawyer, I’ve got to wonder:
How does a person go from being an extremely pro-state, fuck-the-accused judge in December, to being a criminal-defense lawyer in January?