Best Criminal Court Judge (2011)

Maria Jackson

Correction: Former State District Judge Caprice Cosper has never expressed the opinion that she has been impressed with her successor, Judge Maria Jackson. The Houston Press regrets the error. When she was elected to the 339th Criminal District Court in 2008 as part of the Obama-led Democratic sweep, Maria Jackson already had three strikes against her: She had defeated Caprice Cosper, perhaps the best liked and most respected incumbent (and former Best of Houston® Best Judge in 1999); she came from municipal court, hardly the birthplace of judicial heavyweights; and she had never spent a day as a Harris County prosecutor, a critical pedigree for anyone aspiring to a criminal bench. And so most of the cognoscenti at the Criminal Justice Center, especially those from the Chuck Rosenthal government-in-exile, thought Jackson would be in way over her head. Well, turned out they were wrong. Jackson has gone about the business of dispensing justice in a way that has even impressed Cosper, her highly regarded predecessor. Jackson runs a tight but cordial courtroom with a staff that does not have the disposition of prison guards.


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