The Honorable Ted Poe
228th Criminal District Court - Harris County, Texas
Ted Poe is one of the most colorful and controversial judges in the country. He is a victim advocate who has built a worldwide reputation for his fair and just treatment of defendants, but those found guilty of child or spousal abuse can expect to face punishment that is beyond the traditional standards of any other sitting Texas judge, past or present.
Judge Poe has always welcomed the media into his courttoom. In 2002, Judge Poe fought to bring cameras into the Jury room- a first in the country - so that the public could gain a better understanding of the jury deliberation process. The issue went to the highest court in the land, but ulitmately the case was defeated. Judge Poe continues to believe that servng on a jury frightens most people, but if more people understood the process, possibly they would not try to avoid jury duty, and be more willing to take the responsibility seriously.
A lifelong Texan, Judge Poe was raised in Houston, and received his B.A. in Political Science from Abilene Christian College, where he served as class president. He studied law and received his law degree from the University of Houston where he was a member of the law school honor society. After passing the bar he began his career as one of the most successful District Attorney's in Houston history - never losing a case.
In 1981, after 8 years as a trial lawyer, Ted Poe became one of the youngest state Judges appointed to the Texas bench. For more than 20 years he has served as a Felony Criminal Judge for the 228th Harris County District Court, located in Harris County, Texas.
His 'off-the-trail' justice and tough sentencing requirements have been the topic of such notable TV news magazines as NBC Dateline, CBS 60-minutes and ABC 20/20. When guilty verdicts are handed down, defendants can expect stiff justice from Judge Poe. He is especially tough on those found guilty of child abuse, sex crimes, domestic abuse and vehicular homicide. It is not unusual for criminals to be required to serve prison time with their cells adorned with pictures of their victim(s). Judge Poe regularly requires defendants to also publicly parade downtown Houston Streets carrying a placard proclaiming their guilt and remorse. His community service sentences are equally demanding, but recidivism is very low.
Judge Poe's sentences have been challenged in the US Supreme Court, where he prevailed, establishing case law and legislation, detailing Judge Poe's various forms of innovative and creative punishment are detailed in the Texas law books.
Judge Poe is a strong advocate for crime victims, and long before impact statements were legally allowable in court, he berated those he sentenced on behalf of victims and their families. He has served on the advisory boards of such notable organizations as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Parents of Murdered Children, Child Advocates and D.A.R.E. He frequently speaks to groups of school children and has been honored by numerous victims groups, including the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). Judge Poe also sits on the Board of Directors of the National Children's Alliance.
Supreme Court Ruling I Contact Judge Poe