DIB WALDRIP....The one most qualified for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8
by Sonja Harris on January 31, 2018 at 12:47 PM
Dib Waldrip is a highly respected judge who sits on the 433rd District Court in Comal County. He is one of three vying for the bench on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8. The Court of Criminal Appeals is Texas’ highest court for criminal cases. This court reviews serious criminal matters appealed from the various Courts of Appeal, writs of Habeas Corpus and direct appeals of death penalty cases from the District Courts. So it is imperative that the person sitting on this court understands the severity of the results. Waldrip’s credentials far exceed the other two candidates. Of the three he is the only one who is so well versed in criminal law that he is the only one Board Certified in Criminal Law. He has served his community as a police officer, a prosecutor, The District Attorney for Comal County and a judge. He comes from a long line of Texas lawmakers.
He is proud of his record, “I personally tried over 100 felony jury trials and obtained convictions in most of those. Lost two and had two hung juries and subsequently maintained the convictions on Appeal.” As a prosecutor he was also responsible for the appellate work, “If you tried the case you also had to do the appellate work as well.”
Early in his career he was a briefing attorney in the Amarillo Court of Appeals for three years, then moving to the El Paso Court of Appeals as a staff counsel supervising four briefing attorneys as well as working for the entire court. He was the District Attorney for Comal County for 10 years before being appointed by Governor Rick Perry as the District judge for the 433rd in 2007. He was elected for a full term in 2008 and won reelection in November 2012 and again in November 2016.
Judge Waldrip is a solid conservative that follows the law as prescribed in our US Constitution, Texas Constitution and the laws as passed by the Texas legislature. He believes that Judges are not legislators and should apply the law as written. As far as those rogue judges, “I trust that those that do (legislate from the bench) are reversed.”
The judge has also served as one of three advisors to the Texas Violent Gangs Task Force and to the Criminal Justice Advisory Council. So in essence Judge Dib Waldrip without question, without a doubt is the most qualified candidate to be the Justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8.
It is serious business as to who sits on the highest criminal court in Texas; this is not a laughing manner. Justitia, Lady Justice, has been ‘blindfolded’ since the 15th century. The blindfold signifies the ability to be impartial, that justice should be measured accurately without fear or favor, regardless of race, gender, religion, personal wealth or power. No other official can by his ruling alone change the lives of a person, or an entire family. People tend to forget, or not even realize, that their lives can be drastically transformed by the rulings of a judge. A judge must have the experience, temperament and moral character to assume the responsibilities that go with the title and duties as a judge. Judge Waldrip has these qualities.
While doing my research, I came across two red flags on Michelle Slaughter. First, an article in the Houston Chronicle dated September 30, 2015 by Mike Glenn: A three-judge Special Court of Review found that 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter did not violate judicial standards as a result of her social media activity (Facebook) while overseeing the case of a man accused of keeping his son locked in a wooden box and other trials. Defense lawyers filed a motion for mistrial based on Slaughter’s Facebook activity. A visiting judge removed Slaughter from the case and transferred it to another Galveston County Court.
While Slaughter was not found ‘guilty’, the state commission on Judicial Conduct did reprimand Slaughter and did order her to attend classes on the use of social media by judges. This action taken by a District Judge to post what is happening in her court while the case is being heard is an indication of the ‘immaturity’ level of her character. As the judges wrote, “A judge should never reveal his or her thought processes in making any judgement.”
In addition, I could not find any record that Slaughter has never tried a criminal case either as a prosecutor or a defense attorney. She has vested her career in civil office practice. Common sense alone would lead anyone to understand that she should not be elected to the highest criminal court in Texas deciding Death Penalty cases and other criminal matters extremely important to our criminal justice system. Because of her lack of criminal law experience she would be the weak link in our criminal jurisprudence.
Waldrip made it very clear about the importance of experience and knowledge by stating, “If you had to hire an attorney to represent yourself, a close friend or family member to appear at the Court of Criminal Appeals, would you hire the guy who had personally and successfully tried in excess of 100 felony jury trials and maintained those convictions on appeal (briefs and oral arguments), or would you hire the attorney who had never tried even one misdemeanor case to a jury nor had she ever submitted one appellate brief in a criminal case--nor made even a single oral argument before an appellate court on a criminal case? The choice is yours.”
Judge Waldrip is a graduate of Texas A&M and earned his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. He resides in New Braunfels, Texas with his wife of 18 years Grace and is the father of Georgeanne, John West, Winston and William. The family attends Oak Wood Baptist church. He is a man of honor, integrity and a Christian. He is what we would like as a role model in the community. We must dutifully inform ourselves as to the qualifications of the candidates running for office. Please vote for Judge Dib Waldrip Place 8 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on March 6, 2018.