The felony bond debate counts in defeating incumbent Harris County judges

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – When Paul Castro went to vote in the 2022 primaries, he was more educated than before standing before the Harris County criminal court judges.

“I’m an activist who doesn’t want to be an activist,” Castro said.

Paul’s 17-year-old son, David, is murdered in the summer of 2021. David is fatally shot in a road rage following an Astros game and Paul is reluctantly sucked into the world of the Criminal Justice system Harris County and the ongoing felony bond debate. He believes that Gerald Williams, a violent felon and the man accused of killing his son, should not have been released.

“In such a situation, it is necessary to have the power to decide,” said Castro.

SEE MORE: 17-year-old boy’s father killed in street rampage after Astros game demands policy change on bonds

The controversy surrounding bonds for defendants charged with violent felonies has been at the center of attention for at least two years. The victim’s family organized protests and rallies. An election is held even on Election Day before a criminal court.

Paul thinks voters still remember those images and the heartbreaking victims at the polls.

“I think people say, ‘We’re sick of it and we’re going to hold everyone accountable to the ballot box,'” he said.

Four incumbent Democratic district court judges were voted on. Among those to vote was Greg Glass, who hasn’t held a trial in a year and a half, and who downplayed the tie for the man who will shoot and kill Houston Police Officer Bill Jeffrey in September 2021. , despite the prosecutor’s request to deny it. .
SEE MORE: 10 Democratic judges lost the primaries; 1 head is watery

Judge Jason Luong will be in trouble. Eight other district court judges won their races but five did not run. Rice political science professor Mark Jones says there are several factors at play, including the bond issue.

“The incumbents have been hurt, I think, in many ways, by sinful association in the sense that they, right or wrong, are related to a trend in Harris County where people believe that relationship lower system and allowing violent people to return. The streets have had a negative impact on public safety and so you’ve seen some backlash at the polls,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t think it will be enough to flip seats in November but Paul Castro believes a message has been sent.

“I think people need to pay attention to this and understand that, as elected officials, they have a responsibility to us, the community, the voters, and if they don’t do what we ask them to, do, then we’ll find someone who knows.”

The judge who will hear the case that Williams will not run for re-election this year.

For more on this story, follow Jessica Willey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Dais Johnston

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