Thursday, April 5, 2007

All Rise

Today was Leo's court date. When Mike and I got to general sessions, we started looking for Leo (there were several courtrooms). Once I found the right room, I started to go in and a bailiff stopped me and started asking me if I was sure I was supposed to be in that room and had I signed in my name yet?

"Um. My brother's in there. I'm pretty sure that's where I'm supposed to go."

Come to find out, she thought that I was going to court for me!, no.

So, we got there around 9:30AM, the judge wasn't seated until 10:00AM. There was a "10 minute break" around 11 (ha-ha...more like twenty-five minutes) during which we found out that the judge had only decided to work half a day. Great.

Well, Leo was not seen today. This was unfortunate because the judge that was there seemed like he was a really cool guy. If I ever committed a felony, I would totally want him to be my judge. Also, a great many people came to see Leo. Over a dozen people were there, including men from my father's mens group and one of the monk's from Mepkin Abbey.

I have only been to general sessions once and Leo was one of the first people up, so we did not stay very long. Which means, as I now know, that I missed out on a lot of stuff that I wish I had missed out on today.

It was sad to be there. There were sex offenders, drug traffickers, assualt & battery charges, theft, and--the saddest one--a young man who had been driving drunk and killed his two best friends. The mothers of the victims had no meanness in them towards the defendant, and it seemed to me that they had all been family friends for quite some time and there was genuine love and forgiveness for this young man. You can't change facts though, and he was sentenced to twelve years. Doubly sad because he has a young child and a fiancée with a baby on the way.

How must it be, to be that judge? To have these people who committed these horrific things standing before you, and you get to decide where they go from here. How must it be, to have this scene be a part of your everyday life? Oy. Once was more than enough for me, even though I know that I'm going to go back. How must it be, to stand before hundreds of people and have a lawyer read out all of your wrongdoings?



Miscellaneous From Missy said...

Wow. We had to go to court when Kimmie became part of our family. While we waited for our turn, I met a man whose wife was trying to keep him from seeing their kids. He told me such a sad story, that I wanted to cry for him. Then Jeremy reminded me that there are two sides to every story, and maybe there was a good reason to keep him from seeing his children. Either way, how sad for the kids.

Your last comment about the lawyer reading the crimes reminded me of what will happen for each of us one day when we stand before God. I saw a music video that Carmen did once with Satan reading our crimes to God. Then Jesus steps in and says the person is innocent of those crimes because I've already paid for them.

I'm sorry that He had to pay for me, but I'm thankful that He did!

Anonymous said...

It's not too bad to be a judge. Like you said, they take 25min breaks and declare half days when the weather's nice.


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