1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is John Clinton. I’m the Republican running for Judge, Harris County Criminal Court-at-Law No. 4.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
This court is one of 15 such misdemeanor courts in the county. It hears and has jurisdiction over cases involving Class A and Class B misdemeanors. That means there are a lot of driving while intoxicated cases, drug cases, vehicle thefts, vehicle burglaries and domestic violence cases, for example. More than 80,000 cases were assigned to these misdemeanor courts last year.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I’ve spent my entire life serving and protecting our community. I was a Houston police officer for 30 years. I spent 23 of those years as a Detective Sergeant in the Robbery Division. As a police officer, I worked my way through college and law school and my wife and I started a successful law firm together. But I have always seen working as a judge as a continuation of what I can do to keep serving. I love the law and want to combine my love for it with the practical knowledge of the criminal justice system I gained on the streets.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
30 years, Houston Police Department; 23 years, Detective Sergeant, Robbery Division; Criminal Justice Degree, University of Houston; Law Degree, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University; extensive private practice experience in preparing and trying cases; extensive experience preparing criminal cases; taught courses to law enforcement officers on Code of Criminal Procedure and courtroom procedure.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because I see these as gateway courts. Often, young criminals make their first stop here. We have to make a firm impression on them. We must also protect the rights of both the accused and the victims. I think that often we look beyond the victims and what they are going through when crime enters their lives. These courts play a vital role in keeping our community safe and secure.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
I am the candidate with the practical experience and the perspective we need in this court. I will always look out for victims and protect the Constitution. These courts play a vital role in protecting our community. That’s something I’ve been doing my entire adult life.