Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A father's concern

My client's father was concerned.

He was concerned that the case hadn't been resolved.

He was concerned whether this case would cost his son employment opportunities.

He was concerned because the court had ordered his son to install an ignition interlock device in his car.

He was concerned because the DPS wanted to suspend his son's driver's license.

He was concerned because his son hadn't been convicted of anything but he was already being punished.

We're immune to it at times. We're at the courthouse most days and we're juggling dozens of cases at a time. We know how long it takes for a case to wind its way from arraignment to trial. We know that most of our court appearances are a colossal waste of time for everyone involved.

We know that this quaint notion of innocent unless proven guilty is often turned on its head at the courthouse. We're aware that most judges view a defendant as guilty until proven otherwise.

The only problem is we're inside the fishbowl. Our clients and their families are on the outside looking in. What we see as part of the daily grind they see as a monumental inconvenience.

I couldn't offer him any words to ease his concern. His son is being punished and he hasn't been found guilty of anything.

I don't have an answer.

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