The following story is inspired by real events but is parody.
Guy’s in the bag. Seriously in the bag. At four o’clock in the afternoon. He’s in his 60s and staggers into the Dollar Shop in need of the kind of relief men of his demographic and alcohol consumption level tend to need often.
He’s weaving his way toward the bathroom at the back of the store but doesn’t quite make it and so stands his ground and thus damages some merchandise on a couple of lower shelves, not to mention his pants.
The clerk calls 911 and soon a state trooper arrives and writes an appearance ticket. This sits poorly with the drunk and he berates the officer at top volume.
Then he kicks the cop. More than once. And this sits poorly with the officer who then does what cops do in such cases, he cuffs the guy.
The appearance ticket then magically turns into real charges: destroying the merchandise, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and public intox.
The “suspect,” as fairness dictates we call him even though everyone in the store saw this, is jailed when he can’t come up with the bail, ten grand, likely more money than he’s ever seen in one place at one time, ever. Or ever will. Ever.
So now, he’s “in the system,” which as we learn from television is what the criminal justice establishment call his paperwork.
And what a system it is.
The local Grand Wizard of Judges in this particular system has recently had a little career setback. The governor had named him to the State’s highest court. But Grand Wizard withdrew his name from consideration after it was learned that he’d forwarded a Christmas e-card to a bunch of courthouse “co-workers” over whose rooms he presides. The card was described as insensitive at best and racist at worst. Perhaps expected for a Grand Wizard of Judges in a backwater, but not for someone on the state Supreme Court.
Oh, and if you believe he withdrew voluntarily to further serve the People of New Roses County, there’s this bridge for sale up in Brooklyn.
Ordinarily, the leaking “suspect’s” preliminaries would be heard by a particular lower ranking judge. But the Grand Wizard demoted that sterling fellow because while court was in session, he allegedly (as fairness dictates we say) was trading text messages with the District Attorney, a reasonably attractive though fast- fading blue- eyed blonde with whom he is said to have a “close personal relationship.”
Veteran court watchers say the DA may also have the same kind of relationship with an underling in her office. Plus she’s been accused by a disgruntled former employee of forging a third judge’s signature on a court order.
That charge is under investigation by the State Attorney General who is also under investigation for possible wrongdoing and by the County Commission, comprised of an assortment of dodos, mean spirited cranks and a feeble and easily and always out- voted minority party.
This is the “justice system” into which our “suspect” has been thrown.
Don’t expect a speedy trial. Everyone in the courthouse is far too busy texting, sending greeting cards and making motel reservations to bother with small matters of justice.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015