[Guest post by DRJ]
In the last election, enthusiastic Obama voters swept out virtually all Republican elected officials in Harris County (Houston) Texas. Kevin Fine is one of several Democratic state district judges voters elected and one of four judges who will oversee Houston’s drug courts, a once-a-week docket in addition to their regular judicial duties:
“Elected by Harris County voters as a state district judge this month, Fine said he’ll draw from his experiences as a cocaine addict who has been clean and sober for 10 years when presiding over felony cases.
“Every time I was coming down, I felt like the devil was reaching into my soul, stealing my heart,” he said of his days spent with drugs. The crumpled man in Jesus’ arms is a metaphor for the way he later faced his own skeletons and weathered the problems of addiction, said Fine, a criminal defense lawyer who will take the bench in January.
Fine believes he is qualified to help those who truly want to battle their own demons and says he’ll be able to spot the phonies.
His right arm is covered from shoulder to wrist in a sleeve of tattoos that mark various periods of his life, including the times he battled drugs and alcohol. “I’m probably the only district judge with this many tattoos,” he said. “At least the only one we know about.”
Fine, a Democrat, campaigned on his life experiences, saying they would make him a better judge than his rival, Republican incumbent Devon Anderson.
“She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.”
Fine claims he never appeared in court or met with a client while high but acknowledges his addiction problems started in in his teens and continued throughout his life, including alcohol and cocaine abuse as a practicing attorney. His goal as judge is to help defendants who really want to battle their inner demons “weather the storm” of drug addiction.