HOUSTON (AP) — Texas’ judicial ethics commission has found 11 current and former judges broke the law by indiscriminately denying free bail to thousands of poor people charged with crimes.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct this week publicly admonished the Harris County district judges, eight of whom have left office.
It ruled that the judges willfully violated court rules and state law by instructing court officers to routinely deny no-cash bail to most or all newly arrested defendants.
A lawyer for the judges, Nicole DeBorde, said the commission’s decision was “incorrect” and that her clients plan to appeal.
On Thursday, former Judge Michael McSpadden told the Chronicle he stood by the decision to have magistrates deny all requests for so-called “personal recognizance” bonds.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com