Monday, October 13, 2008

COURTS: Disorder in the Court

I missed the melee that was in the 147th District Court last week. In short, the victim's family was not quite satisfied with the plea agreement and decided to voice their opinion by rushing the bench and disrupting the proceedings. Only the quick thinking bailiff and a little pepper spray averted what could have been an uglier scene.

I have to give the prosecution some credit. The range of possibilities of what could happen in a trial are best evaluated by the professionals in charge and not the sometimes irrational reactions by the victim's family members.

Don't get me wrong, victim's family members have every right to grieve and express their disgust with the perpetrators of these inexcuseable actions. But that is separate from the evaluation of a case and an eventual decision by people without an emotional attachment to the victim.

Some of my clients are equally unrealistic in evaluating their cases in the opposite direction. Some don't like what I have to tell them and try to take it out on me. Client control in many ways is akin to victim control. Both require patience and frankness. In the end, the final say goes to twelve strangers in the jury box. When this happens, reality can be a bitter pill to swallow for somebody.

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