Kevin Fine (pictured), the tattooed, motorcycle-riding, recovering-addict judge who once declared the death penalty unconstitutional from his bench in Harris County’s 177th District Court, resigned from office today, according to his friend and spokesman Robert Fickman, a Houston criminal-defense solo.
“He resigned so that he could pursue other opportunities in the legal profession, some of which may be time sensitive. I think a lot of people are speculating ‘Why today?’ But he just had to make a decision in the best interest of his family at this point,” Fickman says.
Fine could not be immediately reached for comment.
In 2010, Fine ruled Texas’ death penalty statute unconstitutional, a decision the Court of Criminal Appeals overturned in 2011 in State of Texas Ex Rel. Patricia R. Lykos v. Hon. Kevin Fine.
Fine was elected to the bench in 2008 but did not file for re-election this year.
“The fact that he became a lightning rod had a lot to do with his decision not to run again. It created quite a bit of pressure on him and his family. And he did what was best for him and his family by taking himself out of the limelight,” Fickman says. “I think he was controversial, in part, because of some of his rulings and also because he never fit in with the good old boys club.”
--- John Council