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Louisville judge who signed Breonna Taylor warrant loses reelection

“I can honestly say the people went through the races and selected who they thought was the best fit for the judicial system.”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville judge who signed off on the Breonna Taylor warrant did not win reelection.

Judge Mary Shaw lost to Tracy Davis for the Circuit Court Judge - 5th Division seat by 2,367 votes as of Wednesday morning.

Shaw was first elected in 2006 and was the only incumbent Jefferson County judge challenged in this midterm election.

She faced criticism in the past for signing the falsified warrant in March 2020 for the raid of Taylor's apartment.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in August that four former Louisville Metro Police officers violated Taylor's rights the night she was murdered.

Garland also said the federal charges allege the officers falsified information on the search warrant used to enter Taylor's home, violating her fourth amendment rights, which resulted in her death. 

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WHAS11 spoke to judge-elect Tracy Davis Wednesday. 

Davis is a native Louisvillian, mother, grandmother and practicing attorney. 

She said while practicing, she saw instances of unconscious bias. She was sometimes the only woman or person of color in a courtroom, and saw ways to make the system more accessible.

Davis felt switching spots, running for a seat, was a way to have a broader impact.

Her aim is to bring transparency to the court. She also values the use of technology to make things easier on lawyers and litigants. 

"I do want change," Davis said. "I do want the city to heal, I do want people to trust the judicial system and to have faith that when they come seeking justice, justice is what they will get regardless of where they come from or who they are."

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Responding to questions of how the race was impacted by the attention on the Breonna Taylor race and Judge Shaw, Davis said she felt after the pandemic, people started paying more attention to the decisions made in the judiciary and by lawmakers.

Davis said in this race, she felt people researched more than they may have before and paid attention to the votes they cast in judicial contests. 

“Who are the people on the judiciary, what are their thoughts, what are their approaches to things, what are their thoughts on bond and bail," she said. “I can honestly say the people went through the races and selected who they thought was the best fit for the judicial system.”

Shaw has not yet responded to requests for comment on this story. 

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