News

Press Release: SAN ANGELO 26 June 2013

District Judge Barbara Lane Walther announced today she intends to be a candidate for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3 in the Republican primary to be held on March 4, 2014.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the state's highest criminal court.

Judge Walther has served the citizens of the 51st Judicial District for more than 20 years and has presided over many notable criminal cases, including the 2011 trial of Warren Jeffs, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

A jury convicted Jeffs of sexual assault of a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child. He currently is serving life in prison plus 20 years. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the convictions.

Judge Walther is a highly respected member of the Texas legal community:

— Elected Chair of Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas by peers.
— Elected Chair of the Texas Center for the Judiciary.
— Appointed Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the Texas Center for the Judiciary.
— Appointed member of the Court of Criminal Appeals Education Committee.
— Appointed to the Council of the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar of Texas.
— Appointed advisory member of the Committee on Judicial Performance for the Texas Judicial Council.
— Honored by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Texas Chapter with the Outstanding Juris Award in 2008.
Judge Walther has served as a member of the faculty for the College for New Judges, as a member of the executive committee of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and as a member of the Site Selection Committee for the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Judge Walther has served as the Judicial Section Liaison to the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and as liaison to the Texas Bar Foundation Board. In 2007 she received a Presidential Citation from State Bar President Martha Dickie for her leadership.

"I believe it is vitally important for a judge sitting on the state's highest criminal court to have experience presiding over criminal trials. It has been my privilege to be elected to serve in that capacity for more than 21 years," Judge Walther said. "I understand the importance of each case and the impact a case has on both the accused and the victim.

"I believe it is essential for a judge to insure fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the laws enacted by our elected representatives. I believe in applying law as it is written. I affirm the rights of citizens in cases of search and seizure, privacy, surveillance, and the right to keep and bear arms. I am tough, fair, honest, and work diligently to remain current with the law."

Prior to her election as district judge, Judge Walther served as Title IV-D Family Law Master for the 7th Judicial Administrative Region. She was in private legal practice in Dallas and San Angelo prior to that.

Judge Walther earned her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist's Dedman School of Law. She earned a BA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an AA degree from Stephens College.

Judge Walther has been married to Dr. Steven Walther for 39 years; they have two children and a grandchild.

District Judge Barbara Walther has spent more than two decades ensuring criminal convictions in her court don't come with cracks that can produce a reversal on appeal.

In the News:

We recommend Walther in GOP race for Criminal Appeals Place 3

The two Republicans vying for the open seat on the statewide Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3 are experienced and highly qualified, meaning the party will be well-represented no matter which way the primary goes. This is a tough choice, but we lean toward Judge Barbara Walther, 61, of San Angelo because of the depth of her bench experience and breadth of judicial coverage across very small, often rural jurisdictions...Read more.


Editorial, Dallas Morning News

The San Angelo judge hopes to bring that experience to the state's highest criminal appeals court...Read more.

News-Journal.com, Longview, Texas

...Authorities allowed Jeffs, 55, to stray far afield for too long, apparently reluctant to tread on constitutionally protected religious turf. His days as a coercive sex-cult leader are over, thanks largely to the exhaustive work of District Judge Barbara Walther, who at one time in 2008 temporarily ordered 416 children removed from their mothers' custody at a West Texas compound for their own protection. If only the world knew then what we now know about the acts of depravity that prompted her order...Read more.

Editorial, Dallas Morning News