Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

District Judge, 105th Judicial District

District JudgeTexas District Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in Texas. "The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts."[1] The district courts often have concurrent jurisdiction with the Texas county courts.As of September 2013, there are 448 district courts in Texas. District courts have one judge per court.District courts have original jurisdiction in all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount in controversy (the amount of money or damages involved) is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court. While most district courts try both criminal and civil cases, in the more densely populated counties the courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters."

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  • Candidate picture

    Craig D. Henderson
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Jack W. Pulcher
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

Describe your legal experience for the type of judicial position you seek, including previous bench experience as well as legal counsel for bench and/or jury trials.

This court's past efforts to reduce repeat incarcerations (recidivism) have been successful.

Explain your answer, including what you would do to improve this.

What changes, if any, would you make to the Presiding Court system?

The Nueces County Pre-Trial Assessment initiative has been a success.

Explain your answer.

What will you do to ensure that all parties, involved in cases before the court, will have an opportunity to have their interests adequately represented and considered?

I have been a practicing trial attorney for the past 26 years, representing both individuals and large companies in a variety of complex matters in State and Federal Courts. As a Board Certified Trial Attorney, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, I have extensive trial experience.. I was also a City of Corpus Christi Municipal Court Magistrate Judge for 7 years. As judge, I determined if sufficient probable cause existed to hold prisoners, issued various warrants and set bail. My diverse experience in civil and criminal matters will be an asset to the 105th District Court.
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The Specialized Caseload Community Supervision Programs are valuable tools in decreasing the recidivism rates. These programs give the Court alternatives to incarceration for eligible offenders, providing supervision and in appropriate cases treatment services. Studies show that these programs can very successful in reducing recidivism, and incarceration costs, while avoiding a “one size fits all” punishment when education and treatment are more effect tools. I plan to fully utilize these programs in appropriate cases.
Candidate response is not yet available.
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The Nueces County Pre-Trial Assessment Program is an important program addressing jail overcrowding and due process concerns associated with the cash bond system. The pre-trial risk assessment tool has been effective in lowering bail amounts in cases involving offenders who are low risk for flight and to the community. Nueces County was recently awarded grants to expand the program and I will continue to utilize this Program in order to limit the unnecessary and costly incarceration of low risk offenders.
Every party who comes to court deserves a fair hearing and to be treated with respect, regardless of who they are. It is imperative that a Judge acts impartially and applies the law equally to everyone who appears in Court. In addition to acting in a fair and impartial manner, the Judge must ensure that cases are heard in a timely fashion. Justice delayed is justice denied. Accordingly, I will ensure that the 105th District Court is a fair, open and efficient Court, which gives parties their day in Court in timely fashion and issues rulings expeditiously.
I am the presiding Judge of the 105th District Court. I have presided over 60 criminal jury trials ranging from state jail felony possession of controlled substances to capital murder. I am currently in a capital murder jury trial involving the death of a 13 year old boy. I have picked over 25 grand juries as a District Judge. Through the years I have presided over 100 hearings involving divorces, child custody, and possession hearings. I was the presiding judge over the first jury trial involving modification of child visitation in Nueces County.
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Since I have been on the bench, I was appointed as Judge of the Nueces County Veterans Court by the Nueces County Board of Judges. When our local heroes are involved with a criminal act, instead for placing them on regular probation or in the prison system, the other judges will refer the veterans to me. I require them to complete various programs that will help them deal with military involved issues. I have had 25% of the participants graduate and no longer commit any crimes. I have worked hard to have the budget increased so that more veterans can enter the program.
The change that I would make is actually already in place. Since my election, I have seen the judges come together and work as a team like never before. The court system in Nueces is controlled by a board of judges which I am a member of. The conflicts and disputes of the latter years are gone and we now work as a team. We have accomplished more for the citizens who are affected by this court system than ever before. I would urge to have this change continue for the greater good of our citizens.
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Strongly agree
We, as a board of judges, implemented this program to help assess people who were charged with a crime but could not afford a small amount of money to post bail. This program is based on first time offenses and non violent crimes. The program was just implemented recently and there has not been enough time to evaluate the success of the program.
Everyone involved in a matter in my court have been provided adequate time to have their case heard. I believe in being fair and respectful to every single person that comes before me, no matter what the charges or presented evidence. I have never had a complaint placed against me for not allowing citizens to argue in front of me or a jury. I place this kind of respect as a high regard in the courtroom and will continue to do so.