Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Judging and Being Judged

So I was in Court today.


Did you just freak out? Well, calm yourself, I was only the moral support for my friend. It was a completely new experience. If growing up means going to court I'd like to take the next train back to kindergarten, please.


The courthouse itself is incredibly domineering and ominous, gray and uninviting (sorry, kinda got carried away with those adjectives). We walked up those stone steps, laughing and joking ("photo-op? let's commemorate this moment!") and instantly fell serious as we tiptoed inside. We were ushered through a metal detector (I am only used to these inside airports so to go through one without the promise of a flight directly after was slightly disappointing) and proceeded to sign in for arraignment.


Commence people watching.


We sat on a wooden bench (think church pew a long way from home) and instantly googled the presiding judge. Google images were unhelpful. Michael Tupper looked like someone who didn't get a bid during his college career and we were instantly nervous. We had been hoping for the fratty, grandfatherly type. And then I started to gaze at the people around us (in a completely non-creepy way of course) and I saw some interesting characters (that's a euphemism for people I would never actually commune with unless forced to). Both me and my friend had dressed up for the occasion (I try to never miss a chance to wear heels and be tall when I can help it) and were consequentially two of the best groomed people there, especially compared to the young man with the pony tail and the sweatshirt with red letters encouraging all to "Vote For Jesus!" (Jesus is running?! Clearly you can see I don't know much about politics. If He IS in the running I'll jump on that registering to vote thing ASAP). Then there was the young lady in khakis and a highlighter yellow sweatshirt with "livestrong" boldly emblazoned across the front, attire that I would typically not have a problem with, but it didn't seem appropriate for her present circumstance. 


Arraignment was short and sweet, and actually pretty anticlimactic. We watched as several individuals were called forward with felony charges for possession of marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. The judge's voice boomed around the room and I guess a loss of privacy is also a consequence of breaking the law, for their wrongdoings were no longer a secret between them and the state. At least 20 witnesses were now privy to their private life. 


It was a learning experience, even for me as the moral support. I never want to be in a courtroom as anything other than a lawyer, judge, or hand to hold. 




It's hard to think that lives are forever change in a room as pristine and official as this. 


After today I am determined to stay A Very Lucky (and law-abiding) Girl. 

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