About Gemayel Haynes

Gemayel Haynes for Judge

I am an experienced criminal litigator with over 15 years in the profession, having spent most of my time as a public servant. I am also a proud graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and Texas Tech School of Law, as well as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. My professional journey began in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as a felony prosecutor and I now serve as a Senior Assistant Public Defender in the same jurisdiction. I know what it means to fight for justice and fairness everyday, both for crime victims and individuals who are accused of committing crimes. I am running for Judge of the 183rd Criminal District Court because our courts should be just for all, not just for some. I will ensure the courtroom is a place where both sides are treated fairly, legal rights are protected, and each individual is treated with dignity.

I am confident I will be able to carry out these promises because I have done so throughout my legal career. Over the years I have represented the state and countless clients at every level, from the Justice of the Peace, to Misdemeanor, Juvenile, and Felony courts. I am consistently in trial handling offenses ranging from state jail felonies to first degree murder and sexual offenses. I know firsthand how important it is to have a competent, independent, and objective judge, whether you are a crime victim or someone whose life and liberty are at stake. I also know the delicate balance that must be maintained in protecting the community while also respecting the rights of the accused.

Equally as important, I am committed to being a servant-leader, dedicating much of my time to help advance the legal profession. I have trained criminal lawyers across the state on topics ranging from bail, pretrial investigation, search and seizure, probation issues, trial prep and strategy, and sentencing issues. As a team leader in the Harris County Public Defender's Office, I currently mentor and supervise felony attorneys, ensuring the next generation of criminal attorneys have the skills they need to be successful. I have also assisted the broader legal community in this way by serving as a board member of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, a position I have held since 2014.

Although my approach to the bench is informed by my extensive legal experience, it is also an extension of who I am. My core values are a fundamental part of this candidacy and were shaped by the example of selflessness my parents set. As the son of a 40-year employee of the Veterans Administration Medical Center as well as a retired UPS truck driver and dedicated member of Teamsters Local 270, I was fortunate to be guided by them throughout my life. Growing up in New Orleans, L.A., their lessons of hard work, respect, fairness, and love of community, were instilled in me daily. They dreamed of a better life for their children, firmly rooted in education, which eventually inspired me to attend law school.

The road to becoming an attorney was not easy; while attending law school, my family and I experienced tragedy when Hurricane Katrina struck our hometown, destroying much of the life we knew. We relied on the kindness of others to get us through and I felt a renewed sense of purpose to use my legal education to help the most vulnerable. I worked tirelessly to reach new academic goals, eventually becoming the first African American to serve on the Executive Board of a law journal at Texas Tech. The resilience I developed during those years helped me prepare for this moment and the fight ahead to ensure our courts are worthy of the public's trust.

I am seeking the support of Harris County voters who also believe it is time for positive change at the Criminal Justice Center. I bring the necessary experience, temperament, and commitment that our community deserves on the bench. My courtroom will be a place of independence, integrity, transparency, and fairness, informed by my wealth of experience on both sides. Join me as we work together to bring common sense justice to the courthouse!

Endorsements

Houston Association of Women Attorneys
Mexican American Bar Association
Greater Heights Democratic Club
Harris County Young Democrats

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