ONLY ON 13: Galveston judge implements 'no plea' policy for crimes involving officers

GALVESTON (KTRK) -- A Galveston County judge issued an order stating he does not intend to accept plea bargain agreements in cases where police officers are threatened, disrespected or assaulted.

"I may only be one person, one judge," Judge Kerry Neves wrote on Facebook. "But I will do what I can to stop the disrespect and aggressive behavior against our police officers."

Former district judge and current attorney Susan Criss is concerned Neves crossed a line.

"Showing favoritism to the police can be a problem for a judge," Criss said. "I could understand the human part of it, I could understand the sympathy toward law enforcement, but I also have concerns about the effect in court."

According to the order, an officer involved in the case would have to agree to a plea deal for Judge Neves to consider it, and the defendant would have to write a heartfelt apology to the officer and read it in court.

Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said the order is definitely unusual.

LINK: Read the full order issued by Judge Kerry Neves

"I haven't seen an order like this come out before," Roady said. "So based on the language in the order, I don't think that would disqualify him as long as he's willing to look at the facts of each case and consider the full range of punishment."

Facebook users have shared Neves' post more than 11,000 times.
One woman wrote, "Thank you, Judge Neves, my son is a police officer and my family thanks and appreciates you."

A man felt otherwise, saying, "What new order did you sign for the protection of the citizens when the police overreach their authority or are accused of brutality?"

John Convery is the president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He said this order is a terrible idea.

"It's rather shocking to us," Convery said. "It's a breach of impartiality and basic fairness."

Convery said defense attorneys will likely file motions for Judge Neves to be removed from cases involving officers.

Judge Neves declined an interview with Eyewitness News.
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