Monday, October 03, 2005

My Day in Court

Oh, what a mind-numbing day I spent amid the inner workings of the American justice system! I learned a lot, but I won't want to be repeating this day any time soon.

My dear friend appeared in court today on a variety of charges and asked me to attend for emotional and moral support. He was scheduled to appear at 9:00 in Judge Derr's courtroom, but I waited more than three hours without seeing him. I went to lunch and returned at 1:30, and finally saw my friend enter the courtroom at 3:15, six hours and fifteen minutes after the original time stated on his docket.

As I waited, I heard at least two dozen inmates enter "not guilty" pleas to a wide variety of assault and domestic violence charges. I'm sad to say I heard more real-life tales of violence and general depravity than I ever cared to think about. Several men strangled their girlfriends, one man beat his children, another assaulted his brother. It was almost too much to bear. How do people listen to these cases every day?

As it turns out, the court charged my friend with assault on a store clerk, and several other charges. The judge was not sympathetic in the least and set bond at $7,500. Her parting words were, "If I set the bond high enough, hopefully no one will bail you out."


Of course, I love this guy like a brother, but I hope he uses this time to reflect on the direction of his life, or lack thereof.

After leaving Spokane City Court, I rushed out to Cheney to meet with my lawyer. Several months ago I filed a complaint with the state over an administrative matter and was now required to attend a telephonic "pre-hearing conference."

By the end of the day my head was numb...

I'm glad this day over. Ah, sweet slumber! I'm looking forward to a peaceful night's sleep after a very stressful day.

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