Franklin Bynum is the judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law #8, one of 16 misdemeanor courts in the third-largest county in the United States.
He is a socialist organizer, a prison abolitionist, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He won office by bringing a vision of ending pre-trial detention to the front steps of the Harris County Jail every week during visitation hours.
Since taking office, Judge Bynum has helped implement sweeping bail reform—effectively ending cash bail in for misdemeanors in Houston. He has been featured in the New York Times, Jacobin, and the Texas Observer, The Houston Chronicle said “Bynum’s courtroom could become a model for the rest of the county — if not the nation.”