(Note: I am running a series of Q&As for Democratic judicial candidates on the November ballot. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. These Q&As are primarily intended for candidates who were not in contested primaries. You can see those earlier Q&As, as well as all the ones in this series and all my recorded interviews for this cycle, on my 2010 Elections page.)
1. Who are you, and what are you running for?
My name is Mark Diaz and I am running for Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law #11.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
Generally speaking, this Court hears Class A and B misdemeanors. Examples, Assault, DWI, Possession of Marijuana, Prostitution, Theft, etc
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I wanted to run for one of the County Criminal Court benches to create a discussion about how our county courts can become a solution to various challenges faced by the court: ineffective dockets, jail overcrowding, and a lack of fairness in the courts. Once elected, I will create the solutions so that we may better serve the citizens of Harris County.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I have been a Criminal Defense Attorney for 12 years. I have had trial experience ranging from minor misdemeanors to Capital Murder (non-death). Having effectively represented the very clients who appear before these courts, I have a specialized knowledge of the County Courts.
5. Why is this race important?
All of the races are important. It is time to stop the “cookie cutter” justice that is going on in Harris County. We need Judges who will listen to each case independently and recognize that people may have different circumstances in their lives that have brought them before the bench today.
6. Why should people vote for you in November?
People should vote for me in November because I will bring fairness and neutrality to the bench. I will listen to both sides of the case and carefully consider all of the evidence before making decisions. I will operate a more efficient docket, making better use of afternoon availability and serve the Citizens of Harris County to the best of my ability. Most of all, I will stop wasting taxpayer money by working to end the needless warehousing of non-violent, first time offenders in the county jail, instead giving full consideration to solutions, such as personal recognizance bonds, pre-trial diversion, and effective sentencing that benefits the community.