Patterico's Pontifications

11/17/2008

Former Cocaine Addict User Elected State Judge

Filed under: 2008 Election,Judiciary — DRJ @ 10:25 am



[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.

— DRJ

28 Responses to “Former Cocaine Addict User Elected State Judge”

  1. Jeez!
    The inmates are running the asylum.

    Another Drew (a9bf4b)

  2. In other news, a former cocaine addict was recently elected President, too.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  3. A self-admitted cocaine user;
    whether or not his use has continued is an open question that no-one seems to want to address.

    Another Drew (a9bf4b)

  4. His goal as judge is to help defendants who really want to battle their inner demons “weather the storm” of drug addiction.

    Isn’t that more the job of a counselor? Judges are supposed to adjudicate the law, right? Shouldn’t he either focus on the job he was given, or take a job that has as its actual goal what he wants to do?

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  5. For a new judge, years of alcohol and cocaine addiction plus tattoos up and down his arm, now if you’re listening that says quite a lot about this man’s judgement.

    Yep, he’s a guy law abiding citizens can rely on to make sure criminals get what they deserve.

    Ropelight (799f9c)

  6. How does this guy claim to have “weathered the storm” ?

    Were this guy to take his experiences, and apply the law, he might make for an insterting dynamic. As a recovering addict myself, I find this story both inspirational and sad.

    Sad that in the Dem party, a complete lack of experience, judgment, and a history of cocaine abuse seem to be qualifications … I am in the wrong party.

    JD (b96a9e)

  7. We are doomed.

    Old Coot (8a493c)

  8. “She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.”

    Which has not one damn thing to do with being a Judge. Actually, it makes him be on the short list of Baracky’s potential Supreme Court nominees.

    JD (b96a9e)

  9. “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.”

    what a crack head…….

    redc1c4 (27fd3e)

  10. “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.”

    Is that anything like gay people having gaydar?

    JD (b96a9e)

  11. Well, we’ll see how he does. He sounds like a Prop 5 supporter here. I wonder if the press will make any effort to evaluate his performance as a judge. I doubt it.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  12. Sounds pretty cool. One problem with the title–he may be a former cocaine user, but he is a current cocaine addict. The addiction doesn’t go away just because you stop feeding it. It’s not a cat.

    tim maguire (72f509)

  13. DRJ – tim maguire is correct in that assessment. Saying he is a former addict is like saying that Bill Ayers is a former terrorist. But, if this Judge says he is a former addict, that is likely pretty telling.

    JD (b96a9e)

  14. I plead ignorance and I’ll fix it. Thanks.

    DRJ (a50047)

  15. “She did a good job, but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction,” Fine said.”

    Isn’t that grand? Challenge a judge who you admit is doing “a good job” based on nothing more than the fact that you are of a different party and might be swept in by the Obama tide. Is it any wonder that so many qualified people shy away from holding elective office? A friend of mine faced a similar circumstance when he sought reelection to a state’s board of regents. His opponent openly admitted that my friend did a good job and had served with distinction, but my friend was a Republican and got swept away when Democrats convinced their voters to elect a straight party-line ticket.

    JVW (89c289)

  16. As has so much of life become,
    it is a matter of style over substance.

    Another Drew (a9bf4b)

  17. “…but I’m more qualified in the hopelessness and futility of addiction”

    “I’m probably the only district judge with this many tattoos,”

    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.

    Its not unusual for some recovering addicts to wear their previous addictions like some sort of badge of honor for all to see. These are usually the ones that slip and fall. Its troubling that it appears to be all about him.

    Dana (3a01f2)

  18. DRJ @14 – Don’t change the post if that is how Fine describes himself. I think the point being made is that you are never a former addict, the addiction never goes away. You just become clean and not actively using. You are also never a former alcoholic. You are just a sober alcoholic.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  19. Fine believes he is qualified to help those who truly want to battle their own demons

    -Probably not the first item on his job description. Enforcing the law may come first, but maybe not under Obamunism.

    says he’ll be able to spot the phonies.

    -This part is true. It’s tough to lie to a liar.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  20. Dana – At one of the meetings I attend, one of the old-timers calls those people the Evangelical Addicts.

    JD (b96a9e)

  21. I wonder how often he will “review the evidence” in chambers? Oh well, I suppose it beats paying for it on the street.

    Katrina’s revenge on Houston for welcoming NOLA folks with open arms. That’ll teach ’em.

    Rick Ballard (e3e91f)

  22. I doubt that anyone wants to bar former alcoholics OR addicts from serving the state. After all, they had a Governor or two who had severe alcohol problems in the past ….

    Note the word FORMER. Now, what constitutes “long enough”? Ten years? Twenty? I’d suggest that even casual drinkers would have a problem not drinking for ten years running, and if an addict can do it, there’s strong evidence that they have a handle on it.

    Assuming that the judge is a member of a 12-step group, it is inconceivable that he’s been using and isn’t being called on it. For an addict, there’s no such thing as “one” — any relapse would be fairly extreme.

    Lastly, do NOT assume that a sober person has a soft spot for addicts — he’s probably heard every BS line imaginable by now, and knows it for what it is. People I know who’ve been sober a long time tend not to think much of what an active addict says.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  23. Thanks Kevin. I too am an addict in recovery with 9 years clean. I attend twelve step meetings and work as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. If you once did something and know how to stop, you have a intimate knowledge on how to quit. There is no 12 step meetings for politicians. There should be.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e18128)

  24. They could call him the Rock of Justice, assuming he did a little crack.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  25. People I know who’ve been sober a long time tend not to think much of what an active addict says.

    As a smoker I concur. The only thing worse (meaning self-righteous nanny) than a non-smoker is an ex-smoker.

    Kurt (f11584)

  26. If Fine loses re-election in 2012, you know he’s getting his own daytime TV court show…

    John (692c5c)

  27. In the last election, enthusiastic Obama voters swept out virtually all Republican elected officials in Harris County (Houston) Texas.

    [Kevin Fine’s] 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.

    A good illustration of the way that Banana Republics (aka Third World sinkholes, awash in corruption, dysfunction and crime) are born and flourish. I bet the mindset and philosophy of the judge in question is similar to the justices of Mexico’s Supreme Court who a few years ago ruled that life in prison without parole — NOT the death penalty, mind you, but life without parole — was unconstitutional.

    Mark (411533)

  28. Wow, if this isn’t a reflection on how our country’s morals are decaying, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately, this judge will fit in well with the leftist illuminati regime that is about to take over in Washington.

    Jeff (49888f)


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