Best Criminal Judge - 2002
Judge John Creuzot
To be a truly innovative judge is a rare thing. It's so much easier just to follow the law, to mete out punishment because it's your job, to have a cuff-'em-and-stuff-'em mentality in order to get re-elected for life. But the drug addict cries out to be treated differently; he is destined to reoffend because he is an addict, sick, committing all manner of crimes to feed his habit. Most judges realize this; Judge John Creuzot was willing to do something about it. He organized what is known locally as DIVERT court, which attempts to deal with the problems of drug offenders through treatment rather than just punishment. Creuzot's street-savvy demeanor made the program work, although he has now turned over the reins to Judge Janice Warder. But with the Legislature finally exploring drug treatment courts in major Texas cities, Judge Creuzot is still working behind the scenes to see this come to pass. Damn refreshing.