August 17, 2005
Court
Don't Read This if You Are Going to Judge Me in ANY WAY.
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Well, as you know, Monday was Sentence-Day. I picked up my mom at her house (we had NO idea how things were going to pan out and she wasn't sure she'd be up for driving herself home afterwards) just after noon. We grabbed some lunch before heading to the courthouse.
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As we went through security, I set off the alarms. Twice. The guard was then moving his wand up and down (not that kind of wand, you sickos!), trying to locate the offensive object setting off the alarm. Turns out it was the button of my jeans. Seriously. What a hassle, and slightly embarrassing when you aren't one who's comfortable in your skin and you're required to pull up your shirt in a very public place. Ugh. Anyway, another guard told us to head up to the fourth floor, where we looked around like morons trying to find this courtroom that wasn't there. Then I asked my mom for her subpoena. We were at the wrong courthouse!!!! I can't believe she never even looked at the address, though even I had assumed it would be the criminal justice center.
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Turns out we were supposed to be at the traffic court. Because the CRIMINAL portion of the charges had been dropped (at my mother's request). So, we hightailed it out of there, knowing we were going to arrive late, while a guard nicely called the other place to let them know we were on our way. We arrived only a few minutes late and the guards there were expecting us, so even though they dumped out my purse and practically made me strip to prove it was the BUTTON on my jeans setting off the alarms, they were pretty nice about it. We went into the courtroom and it turns out the judge was running a little late anyway, so we beat him even.
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Our case was called up first and basically, the judge read that there was an agreement reached with the state attorney's office. The charge was careless driving with a death (the only traffic violation that does not include mandatory prison time, even though he was guilty of DUI with a death, which carries a minimum 15 years). Due to his immigrant status, his plea was no contest (I guess a guilty plea could get him kicked out of the country). This is the sentence: 120 hours community service to be served in a trauma center, 12 month license suspension, and a fine. (My mother had refused money from this man to cover the costs of the funeral - even though it was offered by the state attorney.) The judge asks the defendant "Do you have any questions?" "No." Gavel thwacks, "Next!"
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And that was that.
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As we left the courtroom, we encountered the defendant in the entry-way. He was with a friend who speaks better english. The friend said how sorry he (the defendant) was for our loss. He went on and on about how he hasn't been sleeping and didn't eat for a long time after the crash. How he's aged, blah blah blah.
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This is what I wanted to say: "I don't give a $hit that he's not sleeping! What the phuck do you think WE are going through?!? What do you think my mom is going through? She is crying every damned day - for hours!! Because YOUR friend phucking got wasted and decided to take a drive! And it is because we KNOW he must be suffering that we thought he should not spend the last years of his life rotting in prison. It is because we know he is an old man who has never had even a traffic ticket prior to this that we believe no good would come from sending him to prison. It is because we DO feel sorry for him and what he must be doing to himself after TAKING THE LIFE of someone we love and needed that my mom pushed for no prison. So, don't try to make US feel bad for HIM that he can't sleep or eat. He can't live with himself because he KILLED someone - someone that WE LOST."
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Instead, I kept my mouth shut as I watched this brittle old man with tears in his eyes looking at us, in total disbelief that my mom could forgive him at least enough not to want him to spend the rest of his days in prison.
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She definitely made the right decision, but even that doesn't make us feel any better.
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Oh, and the other thing that totally pi$$ed me off over the whole thing? My stepbrothers weren't even there. I guess because they had nothing to gain by being there. I can't imagine - he wasn't even my biological dad, but I HAD to be there to see the sentencing of the man who was responsible for Pop's death. Even though I knew what the outcome was going to be, I had to be there as a representative of those who love and lost him. I can't wait until all the probate stuff is settled so I can tell my stepbrother exactly what I think of him.
Posts written by humble servant
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