As it was so late in the afternoon (and we really wanted to score just one more pizza the following day), we retired for the afternoon, to return the next morning. Now, of course I thought we could make quick work of this business and not get any more pizza.
I was mistaken.
First of all, we had to sit in that musty courtroom for an hour or so, listening to the prosecutor drone on about how we needed (our civic duty) to throw the book at this kid whom we had unanimously recently convicted (Hardly unanimous, but hey! Who’s counting?)
Then we had to listen to The Defense chastise us roundly for convicting an innocent (innocent?) man.
Well, the Defense pissed me off. (Yes. My failing, but more on that later. Not something I am proud of today)
After a couple of hours of this, we retired to our ‘chambers’.
The air was not quite as contentious (almost) as it was the previous day, yet…
The minimum sentence we could pronounce was fifteen years.
Straight-away I had a more roundish number in my head: ‘Twenty’.
Hell! He would be out in seven, given good behavior and prison overcrowding.
Once again, Blue-Haired Lady was having none of this. And I did respect her emotion. Yet, damnit! That defense attorney done pissed me off (Shades of Peanut). How dare he say these words he said:
“Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of the ‘jury’ (Yes. Sarcasm was dripping, like something out of a drunken sailor’s mouth) since you have already made one ‘mistake’… do not make yet another, and give this man anything more than the minimum.”
With his sarcasm bouncing around in my head, I was bound and determined ‘he’, he being in my mind, the attorney (what an ignorant fool was I to think in any way that this ‘Council’ gave two shits about his ‘Client’) was going up for twenty and I fiercely lobbied for twenty.
Looking back now, I regret this.
Sincerely regret this.
Fifteen would have sufficed, but I stood firm and played upon the emotions and the exasperation of my fellows and got my wish.
As I said, I regret this now.
We gave him twenty.
Sorry Johnson, wherever you may be.
I am so sorry for tacking on five years for my ego, and only my ego, nothing more.
P.S. Writing this has taken much out of me. I had buried it long ago somewhere never to be felt again.