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Why do I want to be a Judge?

Today, after making my announcement for my run for Judge for County Criminal Court at Law #11, I was asked by a respected colleague (a long-practicing and well-respected defense lawyer on the state and federal level) why I wanted to be a judge. 

I quickly responded to his inquiry because I stand firm in the pursuit of my goals and dreams. This is the exact text from my response to him, which granted is a bit terse:

"Mainly, I want to implement the changes I want to see at the courthouse. I want to scatter dockets, if needed once CJC is fixed, have a call docket to organize trial cases, eliminate the plea chain and have 1 defendant in custody plead without being chained to others, not interfere with the agreements between prosecutors and defendants, even if it requires a long reset. I want to be a voice on the bail reform and make sure it doesn't go back to how it was but allow some changes to it to make it better. These are just a few reasons, and I'm happy to discuss if you have feedback to offer."

I have been defending accused citizens for over a decade, and I can see where the system needs improvement.  The local news media has covered the long lines of people, standing outside the criminal courthouse, waiting to enter.  These are not just accused citizens; they are jurors, family members of complainants, witnesses in a case.  Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath caused major damage at the Criminal Justice Center, and all criminal courts are displaced while Harris County officials figure out how to re-do the building. When it's time to move back in, there will be kinks in the system, and I plan to do my part and eliminate whatever kinks I can.  I want to have a call docket shortly before trial settings to confirm which cases are ready for trial and which are going to work out. This will save time on how long jurors have to wait to be called for service from the jury assembly room to the courtroom. I want one defendant in custody at a time to come forward for their business in court instead of having a long chain of defendants shackled together in front of the bench. While docket length may be important, I want the parties to be able to work out their differences, and if a long reset is needed from the Court to accomplish this, I do not want to impede the process.

Regarding the bail reform, I see both positives and negatives to it, which I will address in another post. I feel a call to action, and rather than stand on the sidelines and wait for someone to make the changes I want to see, I am stepping up.  I hope the citizens of Harris County will see that and vote for me for County Criminal Court at Law #11.

Thanks,

Lori 


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