The final, final exam was finally finished. I put down the pen, stood, and turned to go. I walked out of the building, saying my farewells to no one. I entered my old truck which unknown to anyone had been my home for the better part of the past three years. I exited the parking lot, never once looking back at the building I had spent the past four and a half years in. I knew I had passed all of my exams, because after dealing with the process for so long it became both mechanical, and entirely meaningless in determining what exactly it was that the professors were looking for. When it came time to show up for the graduation ceremony, and receive my juris doctorate degree, I didn’t attend. I wanted nothing to do with that part of my life, which was now behind me, for it brought me not one good memory.
For the past year, I was certified to practice law at the San Bernardino County Public Defenders Office. This was in the adult misdemeanor division. Certification differs from having a license to practice law, which one can do after having every aspect of their life scrutinized by both state, and federal authorities, as well as the state bar, and of course, after passing a three-day obstacle known as the bar exam.
In my case, certification merely required a judge, and the chief public defender to sign off on, along with a law professor, and the state bar, an agreement, to allow me to work within the system. (You see all those commas, and change in thought, that’s how lawyers write.) And just like that, I was a lawyer. Reminds me of a line from Steinbeck’s Grapes Of Wrath, “Send in your dime, to receive your certification, and you too are a radio expert.”
While working plea bargain deals I had the opportunity to work with the best prosecutor that I had ever known. Not that I had ever known a prosecutor before, but certainly this man was the without a doubt a fair man. Most prosecutors are talentless, and arrogant, and are complete assholes. That being so, they don’t even have the mental capacity to recognize the difference between their assholes, their elbows, and that shitter that they call their jaw. This guy was different, but he looked like a creep. He always wore a bow tie, and sat at the same worn desk, submitting files to public defenders, regarding new files that had been charged. I couldn’t tell, which was older, the clothes that he wore, the lunchbox he carried his lunch in, or that desk that one was sure to always find him sitting at.
I was thrown into the fray, having absolutely no training, and on my first day, I was pointed to a stack of pending cases that sat on top of a shelf in front of a bullet proof glass that separated the defendant sitting area from those that were assigned to represent them. People like me! I was told to go at it, that stack of files with alien forms of writing on them. On the other side of that large plate glass window was a sea of frowning faces, those were the defendants who were charged with a myriad of misdemeanors that quite easily could have been felonies. Those green folders held every kind of charge imaginable, everything from possession of child pornography, to embezzlement, drunk driving, and various forms of larceny, etc. Directly across that waiting room, and on the other side of the hallway was the criminal felony pretrial court. There were numerous guards on duty over there, yet none to protect the public defenders on this side of the floor. Over on that other side, serious crimes were in various stages of pretrial. In that room sat numerous men, and often women dressed in the same bright orange jump suits that’s now associated with “terrorists” being detained for over a decade, without charge, at the notorious Guantanamo Bay torture camp, that president Obama promised to shutdown during his campaign rhetoric, but had yet to do so, even though he was already a lame duck, and only months away from being evicted from the Whitehouse.
I meekly picked up a file off of the top of the stack, didn’t recognize the charge, and put it back on top of the stack. I picked up the next folder, and called out the defendant’s name that appeared at the top of it. I watched the man stand on the other side of the plate glass window, heard for the first time the sound of the door buzzer that opened the door. I felt that everyone on the other side of that glass was going to rush into the room where I was, and beat the hell out of me. It didn’t happen.
Soon, the defendant, and I were sitting together in a smaller adjoining room. I read over the case as being presented by the prosecutor, and then listened to the defendant’s version of how he came to being arrested for driving without car insurance. The prosecutor that prepared the file wanted a suspended license, but the man didn’t have one. He was an illegal alien, (Mexican) and because he couldn’t get documents, he couldn’t get a license, and without a license, he couldn’t get insurance. Further, without driving, he couldn’t get to work, and without working, he was unable to provide for, and feed his children. This was my first exposure to the realities of the extent that the legal system was crippled. Meanwhile, vaguely veiled racist hate groups would lobby, and purchase billboards to keep these “undesirables” from receiving the documents necessary to legitimately participate in this thing some call society. Ironically, these “illegals” paid taxes, “their” taxes, and often worked jobs that nobody else would take. Further, nearly everyone in the system failed to understand the reality of all of this. Or at least pretended not to, as they carried on pushing the broken cart of justice along the muddy track it was stuck in.
Besides the suspended license, the DA wanted to fine this criminal defendant, 150.00 USD, and impose three years probation, which the man would have to pay a monthly fee toward. The three years probation has a catch twenty-two attached to it that usually led to the defendant being permanently imprisoned within the system, and violating those terms, usually due to an economic aspect of the penalty being unable to be met. Of course, these indigent defendants would inevitably be back in violation of their probation terms, which was generally the exact same charge, driving a car without a license, and insurance, because they couldn’t obtain a license, because they were not legally documented to work at jobs that nobody else wanted, in order to go to work, to provide for their family. It was never a consideration by the prosecutors regarding the penalties they sought that the defendant had already had their vehicle confiscated by the state.
Probation generally meant new criminal charges would inevitably be filed, and with more serious consequences, and stiffer penalties, fines, and longer imprisonment, along with the revocation of driving privileges, even where none had ever been provided. What a sham! It was immediately clear to me that only the poor were endlessly trapped in this cycle of victimization from a system that was not designed to protect anyone. It was clearly transparent that it was the poorest of the poor who paid the eighty grand a year salaries of the prosecutors, and the hundred, and fifty grand judiciary gigs.
I took the case to this district attorney, who will remain unnamed, for privacy purposes. I introduced myself, and told him this was my first case, and that I had no idea what the hell I was supposed to be doing, as I received no training, and nobody would tell me anything. He patiently, and methodically walked me through each, and every aspect of a plea bargain agreement. I learned from him in five minutes, more about the proceedings of the criminal court, than I had in the previous two years in criminal law, and criminal procedure classes in school.
Finally, we go to the case. I said, “Look, this guy has three children, no license, they confiscated his vehicle, he hasn’t got a dime, and he’s been arrested, and treated this way about seven times now. All this is because he’s been in America illegitimately, and obviously living the American dream. I said, the only thing the defendant was guilty of was being born on the wrong side of an arbitrary line drawn in the sand, and under those circumstances, trying to do his best he can, with his fifth grade education to take care of his family, on the meager earnings they subsist upon.
We ended up agreeing upon a fifty-dollar fine, waived, and two days in jail, time served. The prosecutor filled out all the areas of the form that I was supposed to fill out, and then I signed it. When I brought the results back to the defendant, he began weeping uncontrollably, and couldn’t stop shaking my hand. I noticed that his hand was coarse, and he was obviously a hard working individual. The thankful man could not stop crying as he returned to his family who were waiting for him in the adjacent room, with all the other “hardened” criminals. From there, I would take the file to the trial judge, and when the session would begin after everyone in the court ate a nice lunch, the defendant’s name would be called by the prosecution, he would stand before the judge, and accept the plea deal. The defendant would leave, and no doubt take his family to the small place they shared, and called home, and then throw the dice, gambling on driving to work, and hoping not to be stopped by officers who were well trained to recognize the type of vehicles this man drove, as violating some form of statute or another. Yes, despite the threat of imprisonment, that man would get in a dilapidated old car, that had no insurance, or registration, and he, with no driver’s license, would return to work, and have to work off the penalty for not showing up on time. The system calls these men defendants; some authorities call them repeat offenders. I call them heroes, men who have no choice but to face prison, and grievous injustice, in order to work, and provide for their family, and put food on the table.
I thought of how the man thanked me profusely believing that I was somehow the one who had the power to make magic regarding the mess he was led into. The truth was he had the bow tied prosecutor that I now realized wasn’t creepy at all. I admired him. He looked nothing like the jerky, and twitchy colleagues of his that he seemed to loath even more than I did.
These kinds of cases, plea deals went on, and on. I moved about 50 cases that first week, and by the end of that week, I was already an expert in that aspect of the law. The bow tied guy always made reasonable deals, while every other prosecutor went after women’s throats, and men’s balls, and couldn’t have done a tenth of the penalty they sought if the shoe was on the other foot. These poor excuses for human beings reveled in abusing the power granted to them at every turn, and the judges were even more obscene.
One day I asked the man, “Why do you always make a fair deal? Is it because I’m a novice, and you’re just trying to show me your good side?” His answered surprised me. He said, “I don’t have a hard on for any one.” That is exactly what he said, and why he is so damn good at what he does. He moves paper. He gets the bullshit out of the way. Anyone working within the legal system, on either side of the issue should take from this a valuable lesson.
One defendant I had, I really didn’t like. There would be many I didn’t care much for, as some were inept socially, or just downright deviant. But one woman I really disliked. Somehow her file sat for nearly four years without being prosecuted. One day the woman was pulled over speeding, and this resulted in the officer discovering a warrant was issued for her arrest. At issue was a speedy trial, and timeliness due to witnesses’ memory lapsing, and the inability to now gathering pertinent evidence, etc. When I tried to contact the woman, she avoided me. Apparently, she thought I was the prosecutor, and she wouldn’t return calls. Finally, I left a message saying that I was appointed to represent her, but if she refused to cooperate with me, then she could face whatever it was that the prosecutor would throw at her. She returned the call immediately!
I filed a brief to have the case dismissed, on grounds the woman couldn’t have a fair trial, as too much time had elapsed, and this violated the obvious constitutional standards of being refused a speedy trial, that she was unable now to raise an adequate defense, and this would result in her not having fair hearing, yada, yada, yada. Imagine trying that on the feds today regarding detainees that have been held for over a decade without being charged. Of course, these constitutional standards are entirely applicable, and backed by the Supremacy Clause, but apparent the U.S exists today without a constitution, meaning there are no longer laws under which the authorities must adhere to.
I filed my brief on the grounds stated, and to the chagrin of the arrogant, and red-faced prosecutor, the judge dismissed the case on those grounds. I won my first trial! District attorneys hate losing cases to novices, especially certified attorneys who are still in law school. For weeks thereafter they’re the subject of much scorn, and ridicule within their department. That is until the next prosecutor loses a case, to a novice, like me, and in the same vicious feast of ridicule, is mocked to scorn. Everyone should work in such a wonderful environment.
Although I won my first case, it was a hollow victory. What the defendant had done was prey upon the weakest element of society, the illegal immigrants that needed to drive for work purposes. Her victims needed to show proof of auto insurance to gain employment, and she was eager to help in any way that she could. The woman worked as an auto insurance agent. When these “illegals” inquired about coverage, she offered “special policies” for undocumented aliens. The scam went like this; she’d provide a full one-year insurance policy, requiring full payment in advance, paid in cash only. She used legitimate insurance forms where her “clients” got what they needed, and she pocketed the cash. Of course, it wasn’t long before one of these clients got into a car accident, and offered to the police their proof of liability insurance. The woman was discovered when the insurer refused to accept the claim against the policy. They notified police. One thing led to another, and before long, undercover police posing as illegal aliens seeking insurance for work purposes purchased those bogus policies with marked cash. The woman was quickly apprehended, and charged with numerous counts of fraud, and misrepresentation. She was fortunate to be charged only with misdemeanors, as she had stolen thousands of dollars in her reprehensible criminal conduct. Somehow the case sat for nearly four years before prosecution was sought. By somehow, means the folder slipped behind a desk, and was stuck between the wall, and the desk. The file finally fell to the floor, when the carpet in the prosecutor’s office was being replaced. The woman is now free to enter into some other scam, as I’m certain she learned nothing from this matter. She has the constitutional protections that were afforded her to thank for her freedom.
Upon graduating law school, and finally passing the bar exam, I found myself as I had been for the past half a decade, financially broke, I was offered, and accepted a job at the juvenile division of the public defender’s office in the same county where I had previously worked. I was now defending kids. At that point I would have accepted any job.
One day I entered my office, and discovered the usual memos, and stack of new clients to see that morning, as afternoons were for court appearances, and trials. One case immediately stood out from the rest. Martin M., (name withheld) was a seventeen-year-old high school student who was arrested for getting into a gang fight at school. Ironically, he was fighting gang members who were trying to intimidate him into joining their gang, but he wanted nothing to do with. You know, those are the kind of people that we’re supposed to be prosecuting. Regardless, those are not the facts that brought my attention to this particular file. The kid had been held for nine days, and this was his first hearing. Red flag!
In juvenile court, a child must be charge, or released within seventy-two hours of initially being detained. This is a powerful constitutional standard with no room for ambiguity. I’ve never seen anyone fucked around with concerning this legal standard. Why was this kid being held that long, and with no charge brought against him? Why had he been refused a hearing within that seventy-two hours period, and why was this the first time anyone at the public defenders office had been assigned to represent him? I looked at the charge, and all it said was “fight.” Fight is not a charge. Assault, batter, perhaps! But, fight? What the fuck was this amateurish bullshit?
First, I went to see the kid, who was already in the juvenile detention holding facility, which was adjacent to the courtroom. I soon discovered that he had been attacked by gang members that had been pressuring him to join with them. He refused, and had been paying the price, and was the subject of frequent harassment as a result. The boy’s mother was present during this initial meeting, as it is customary that guardians be present. Sadly, many children go through entire proceedings from arrest to sentencing, without any parent present, or even concerned as to the outcome of the matter. It’s one of the saddest things one can experience, watching a child face incarceration, and criminal proceedings alone, and with no support system. Who the hell are they to bring a child into this world and abandon them?
In Martin M.’s case, the mother was single. She was very close to her son, and would not tolerate any mischief on his part. She was loving, kind, but authoritative, and this kid had never been in any trouble prior to this. None whatsoever! I was curious as to why Martin was being detained without charge for nine days. After learning the facts, I immediately went to the prosecutor, who was an emaciated little Japanese prick. I was shocked to discover the reason the boy was being detained was because he was less than a month away from his eighteenth birthday, and that this state court judge had decided, without a hearing, or being provided legal counsel, to hold the boy until he reached eighteen, and thereafter turn him over to ICE, where he would be charged as an illegal alien, and adult, and after spending months awaiting a hearing in one of numerous desert holding facilities, would then be deported “back” to Mexico, a place he hadn’t been since he was a mere one month old.
I was furious at the Japanese asshole, and said, “What the fuck is fight?” pointing to his handwriting, and then his signature on the charge form. He started to answer, but I just walk away. That afternoon I demanded the judge release the child. He refused. I told the judge he was clearly overstepping his authority as this was a state court, and being so, he had no jurisdiction to hold Martin over a federal matter. I told the judge, “If ICE wanted the boy they knew where they could find him. He’s been living at the same address his entire life.” I pressed on about the seventy-two hour constitutional requirement, to charge the boy with a crime or release him. I demanded the boy be released immediately. The judge would not hear me on any of these matters. I quickly filed a motion to have the boy released, and told the judge I’d seek to have the case removed form his court. Regardless of whatever I said, I was denied, and Martin was taken back to the holding cell. I asked, “On what grounds?” I was shocked to hear that idiot in the black robe proclaim that, “It was election year, and voting was not far off, and his competition had deep pockets.” He stated, “I don’t want to appear soft on crime.” I shouted back at the judge, “What’s the goddamn crime you don’t want to appear soft on in this case?” The judge resorted to threatening me with contempt if I had “another outburst like that.”
Nearly eighteen years earlier Martin’s mother had just given birth to her only child. She was single, and had no one to assist in raising the boy. She wrapped him up in a blanket, and almost immediately crossed over from Mexico into the Arizona desert, walking the entire way to Tucson. There she worked at a hotel where someone she had known introduced her to the hotel manager. She was permitted to bring the boy to work with her, and when she worked, other maids helped to take care of the infant. She did all she could to provide for her son, while living in a cardboard box, under a bridge overpass. Eventually she would have to leave the boy alone as she took on other jobs to save money. Over time this woman managed to save some money, which she hid in a crack along the wall of the overpass, near the place she, and her son would sleep each night. Eventually this woman, not yet thirty was offered a job in San Bernardino as a housekeeper, working for minimum wage for one of the cities councilmen, and his family. She held that job for nearly sixteen years with her employer, a government official having never once help her receive the proper working documentation, which he was lawfully required to do. If there was anyone that should be convicted of violating immigration law, it should be this city counsel member.
That woman raised her son properly. She attended mass, and through all her hardship, never once lost her faith in a god that never heard any of her prayers. Regardless, of the lack of any aid from the super natural during the entire sixteen years, that woman who was now thirty-four years old, had paid both her, and her son’s taxes to the state of California, and to the federal government, a total of 46,000 USD. Her son also worked part-time at an ice cream shop, having obtained a social security card legally issued by that same federal government that eagerly accepted the boy’s money. He had paid over 800.00 in withholding tax as well. The boy also did pretty well at school, and was on track to graduate in a few months. It is extremely rare that children who come up in that kind of an environment succeed in anything, and San Bernardino County is one of the worst, if not the worse county in all of America where high school dropouts are the rule, not the exception, and where teen pregnancies weigh down on the state’s budget, and gangs plague the Inland Empire. A child like Martin M. should be praised, receive medals, and scholarships, and given a chance to excel, not treated as an criminal, and detained until he was to be deported to a nation that he had never known, and where a language that was spoken, and which he could not communicate in. Although his mother is fluent in Spanish, and barely speaks English, the boy spoke English as his native tongue exclusively. Now, within a few months, after going through numerous proceedings in front of judges that didn’t want to appear soft on crimes, and immigration policies, and after, of course, having a fair trial in federal court, the boy would be determined an illegal alien who had entered the country illegally, get sentenced to some time in a federal prison, and then finally shackled, and placed on a bus, and shipped to an unfamiliar land that he had never even set eyes upon, and where he knew no one, and could communicate with no one. America, you gotta love it. Actually, no you don’t.
When I was first began working at the juvenile facility I realized it was just as harsh as the adult holding facility. Children awaiting court appearance would be brought into the hold cells, where they sat until they would be ushered into the courtroom. The walls were light green, and long overdue for being repainted. The seats were made of concrete, and they had to remain in isolation for the entire time they awaited their court appearance. All day long these kids sat in barred cages that seemed like they had been prepared to hold rabid beasts. On the opposite wall were very long, and empty bookshelves. I thought, why not fill those bookshelves with books? After all, that’s what they were obviously made for. If the kids had books, at the very least they’d have something to occupy their time with while waiting for their court appearance.
I got judges, and professors from the law school I attended to fill up my truck with books they had lying around. I wouldn’t accept just any book that they felt like discarding. It had to be books that kids would enjoy.
It wasn’t long before that shelf was filled with books of all kinds. I named the program, Book ‘Em, the founder of my law school, a retired judge really liked the name. I actually said to him, “Jesus Christ, you mean there is a judge that actually agrees with something that I have to say?”
I had one rule, and nobody could interfere. If the kid liked the book, he was allowed to keep it. So, what kind of books do you think these hardened criminals desired the most? Wrestling? Hotrods? Videogames? Crossword puzzles? The correct answer is E. None of the above! Believe it or not, more often than not, they wanted a romance novel. I shit you not! As soon as something arrived by Nicholas Sparks, or Diana Gabaldon, it would disappear. I couldn’t keep romance novels on the shelf. I ended up spending a few hundred bucks of my own money each month, scouring the used bookstores to satisfy the demand.
Martin’s case wasn’t the only one to irk me. But, it would be the final straw. One time I had a sixteen year old boy charged with the felony of brandishing a weapon at a police officer. This is a very serious crime. The weapon it turns out was a BB gun. What really happened, that is, leaving out all of the police officer’s imagined colorations, a boy had set up some plastic toy soldiers in his backyard, and was waiting for his friends to arrive. The friend was bringing over a BB gun he had gotten for Christmas, and they were going to take turns shooting at the plastic soldiers, something that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of American kids do. As the friend walked up to the front entrance of the house with his BB gun, a nosey neighbor took notice, and called the police reporting that, “A man was walking down the street with a rifle!” Police rushed to the scene, and of all things ended up ringing the doorbell with their guns drawn. Yeah, really, it’s in the police report! The boy, thinking it was his buddy answered the door, while carrying the BB gun. The police nearly blew the boy away. Luckily for him they merely forced him to the ground, broke his wrist, and forced the “rifle” out of his hand. They took the crying boy away, booking him, and questioning him before allowing him to be taken in shackles to the hospital to be treated. The extremely frightened kid faced a major felony charge. When the boy was convicted, after refusing to plea to a lesser charge, through exaggerated police testimony, he lost his opportunity to join the military, which had been his life long dream. Lying cops that get on the stand, swear to tell the truth under perjury, while in their uniform sickens me. They’re entirely transparent, but judges, and juries nearly always side with them. The boy also lost the ability to ever own a weapon again, as he was now a convicted felon. He also lost the ability to receive any federal student loans for university study. He would receive one felony strike against his permanent record. Contrary to popular belief, felony counts for minors carry over into adulthood. In California, three felony strikes result in a mandatory twenty-five years to life sentence. When it was all over, the boy was sentenced to a hardcore juvenile facility where he would be held until he was twenty-five years old. The punishment certainly did not fit this ridiculous non-crime. Nonetheless, the cops, and the prosecutor involved relished in justice being served.
I witnessed a lot of that kind of crap, and it wasn’t what I went to law school for. Without being appointed legal representation kids were charged with felonies such as robbery, for stealing cookies, in an exchange for being moved to a detention center closer to their family home. Almost always these deals were made with scared kids before they had even been formally charged, or had the opportunity to have defense counsel tell them to remain silent, to just shut up, and don’t say anything that was incriminating. One of the prosecutor’s favorite game, aimed at kids, is to tell them they don’t have the constitutional right to remain silent. That’s only for adults! Kids get grilled relentlessly without anyone to protect them from making statements that will be held against them. As a result, most kids already signed confessions before ever being assigned a lawyer to represent them at trial, if the case was to go that far. The system simply sucks. It’s morally reprehensible.
The case, or the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when a thirteen-year-old girl who had been abandoned by the state, was charged with two felonies. This was the case I had been working on when I discovered Martin M.’s folder on my desk. Count one was breaking and entering, and count two was armed robbery. In the criminal prosecution’s game the prosecutors rely on a dirty bag of tricks. They always heap on bogus charges that they could never win at trial, charges that are far more serious than what the defendant may, or may not be guilt of. This is done to get the defendant to agree to accept “less serious” charges, so the DA doesn’t have to actually do any real work, or have to do any preparation to prepare for trial. Scared defendants usually accept the offer, even though the charges they accept are much more serious than whatever it is that they are accused of. One such gross mistreatment of the law is where a defendant is arrested after being found to be in possession of crack cocaine, a serious crime resulting in severe penalties. On the other hand, powder cocaine is the kind lawyers use. It carries with it a much lesser penalty, often treatment instead of prison. Crack has the stigma of being a poor man’s drugs, or addicts drug, as opposed to power being construed as a white-collar recreational drug. Crack cocaine brings with it much harsher sentencing, often resulting in years of imprisonment. One way to cop a plea deal is when a defendant is found to be in possession of crack is for them to have that charge waved, and for them to agree to being found guilty of possession of methamphetamines. As odd as that sounds, this switch is quite often used for defendants to receive less prison time. Judges are entirely aware of this. What I have just explained is America’s brand of justice for wealthy people, and somehow this is all perfectly legal. This abusive procedure results in quite bizarre convictions.
Getting back to the case that was the determining factor for me to throw up my hands was when a thirteen-year-old girl was arrested, and faced with two felonies. It was the same Japanese prick that could barely speak English that was refusing to budge on this particular case. Ironically, that asshole himself wasn’t even a U.S. citizen. He had to deal with immigration on a yearly basis, having his work visa approved to remain in the states. Given the Japanese male’s history of having the propensity of raping, and torturing women, I wasn’t at all surprised by this little rat bastard’s position, as he always acted like a ball buster, typical when someone like this had a full erection, and their penis barely jutted out beyond their pubic hair.
The thirteen-year-old girl’s case brought me great pain. Here, the girl’s father, who she never knew was already imprisoned for nearly a decade. Her mother was arrested under the scenario above, regarding the crack for meth switch, and was currently serving three years. The state’s child welfare bureau somehow failed to follow up on this abandoned child, which is mandatory for children under the age of eighteen, so the girl lived alone, in a seedy trailer park with no one to provide for her. Months had gone by since the landlord of the trailer park had received rent for the awful metal box that was barely livable. He was “kind” enough not to have the girl evicted, but not kind enough to provide her with any basic necessities.
During the girls’ medical exam, which took place after her arrest, and detention, it was discovered that she had contracted herpes from her father’s brother who fled the country, due to the fact that he was wanted on several robberies, and assault charges, and now a new charge of statutory rape on a minor.
After the initial seventy-two hour holding period, and receiving the charges, the girl was released to her aunt’s custody. There, the child attended school, and was doing quite well. The aunt had no relationship with her sister, and had no prior knowledge that the girl had been abandoned. Regardless, the Jap bastard wanted the girl sent to an adult facility, to be charged as an adult, and to serve her sentence in an adult prison, requiring her to be released at the age of twenty-eight. This meant the girl was to spend approximately eight years in a juvenile facility, and then transferred to an adult facility when she reached the age of twenty-one. This would amount to a fifteen-year mandatory sentence. This is what the Japanese asshole was requiring, and was immovable.
While living alone for those several harsh months the girl was unable to provide for herself, as both state, and federal laws don’t allow for a child of that age to be gainfully employed. Regardless of this fact, both state, and federal governments always turn a blind eye to migrant children who toil sixteen-hour days picking strawberries, or oranges for the rest of the nation to consume. Eventually, like the bulbs that blow out on a discarded billboard, the trailer’s power was cut, then the water, and the gas. Finally the girl ran out of food, and clean clothing. The girl was starving. One day she watched as her neighbor drove to work, and crept over, and slightly opened her neighbor’s window, crawled in, and went to the kitchen, and ate some food. The neighbor returned home later that day, and discovered the food missing, and called the police. When they arrived, the girl was sitting outside on the front porch of the trailer that she called home. The police asked the girl if she had seen anything suspicious. She said, no. Then they asked if she had gone into the neighbor’s house. She said she had. They asked why? She began to cry, saying that she was hungry. The neighbor stepped in, and refused to press charges, but those wonderful men in blue uniforms, and Kevlar vests turned the emaciated little girl around, handcuffed her, and arrested her. She would soon be dragged before the DA, and charged with breaking and entering, (slightly opening an already opened window). Slightly opening an already opened door, or window satisfies the breaking prong of the charge. Merely sticking a finger in an open window satisfies the element of entering. Legally it goes like this, breaking and entering occurs when one opens an object, such as a window or door, to enter the dwelling place of another. Law schools spend countless hours on this nonsense. To the point that what is apparently obvious ends up baffling even the most ardent of students. In those great halls of Socratic badgering, any reasonable understanding is turned on its head so that many times there is no reasonable thought processes left. This is why the legal system needs to codify everything, because lawyers, and judges are incapable of rationalizing anything. And this brings us back to the idiotic slant eyed midget that hails from a country that caused the worst war in the history of the world. Ironically, while this poor excuse of a human being is willing to toss the book at a young child, and destroy what might remain of her future, he’s all too willing to go to the Yasakuni Shrine in Tokyo, and bow down to the thousands of war criminals that are buried there, and somehow rationalize that they are war heroes. That idiot was one of scores of lifeless clowns, the social rejects that became a lawyer because they are unskilled at anything else. I had to deal with guys like that imbecile on a daily basis, and can recall numerous times that I came close to punching this particular guy out. And it doesn’t end there.
Count two, the “armed robbery” aspect of the “crime” is nothing more than prosecutorial fraud, or what they like to call, a legal fiction. It’s a form of legal extortion, aimed at forcing the young girl to accept count one, without a trial, with the absurd “armed robbery” charge being dismissed. Robbery is defined as a theft through the use of force, or the threat of force. It requires the victim to be present at the time the robbery is committed. Armed robbery applies to all of the above, with the addition of a weapon being used. The girl climbed into a window, and ate food alone, and in the presence of no one. Further, the neighbor, upon learning it was the girl who had taken the food, adamantly refused to press charges, or cooperate with the police, or prosecutor.
California passed the Polly Klaas three strikes law with good intention, but it was written so broadly that it sucked in anyone that had three felony strikes. One clear example of misuse of this law was where a homeless man, who already had two felonies strikes against him. He lived on the street, was an addict, and regarding this matter was obviously hungry. Although he had sought employment, because of his record, he could not find work. After all, who was willing to hire a two-strike felon that was homeless, and obviously appeared so?
Two teenagers ordered pizza at a fast food chain. They had gone away from their table to play a video game. The pizza was brought to their table, and as the kids enjoyed their game, the hungry homeless man took a slice, and continued on down the sidewalk. The kids returned to the table, and noticed the piece missing, and called the police. The man was arrested, charged with a felony, and given twenty-five years to life. Now, I had a case where a hungry girl who was barely thirteen, was being charged with two felonies. Felony strikes don’t get removed when a teenager turns eighteen. They remain for the duration of their life. Given the girl’s background, her father in prison for a long stint, and whom she had not known, and the mother a crack addict, it probably wouldn’t be long before this child would be standing in front of a judge, and facing the possibility of a mandatory life behind bars. It could be something as simple as driving without a license, and being involved in a minor traffic accident.
I had enough; I walked out of the courtroom, knowing that I was going to be unable to help Martin M. Although the law was on our side, none of the players were willing to play according to the rules. Time, and again I saw the same bullshit. I had failed! I was unable to talk sense, or appeal for leniency from a senseless Japanese punk, who never wanted for anything. He spent his life being babied by his mother, and doted upon by his grandmother. He had his endless juku, and private school lessons, and a free ride through two different universities, while daddy paid for all of it. He never had to crawl through a window in the throws of hunger, and isolation, and open a refrigerator, and eat a couple cold hotdogs, and wash them down with grape Kool-Aid.
The grim games, and struggle for power were endless. I wanted nothing more but to wash my hands of all of it. Sadly, lately, whenever the news came on, and a story would appear regarding the arrest of a corrupt prosecutor, or the murder of a police officer, I would find myself with a slight grin on my face. Those that I had worked with, and those that were supposed to make the world a better place, were in reality the enemy to me. They were the enemies of the state.
They were the enemy of the people. This theme kept racing through my mind. I wanted that bloody stench out of my nostrils. I wanted that filth off of me, and the sooner the better. I had decided right there, right in that courtroom, as I watched the shackled Martin M. being escorted back to the holding cell, instead of being allowed to exit the front entrance with his mother, who was already on her knees pleading with the judge to set her son free, in a language that he could not understand, that I could no longer work in a system that was so fragmented, so corrupt, so vile, so filled with contempt for itself, and more violent than those they prosecuted. I finally really understood why the lady wore a blindfold that stood behind the judge, next to both the state flag, and the latest rendition of the Betsy Ross. I turned to the midget, and said, “Fuck you, you Jap bastard. Get the fuck out of our country.” He turned to the judge to object, and I said, “Shut up you fucking turd!” I looked at the judge, and said, “What?” He didn’t respond. I didn’t even pick up my case file, I exited the courtroom, and both of the cops that stood by the exit doors turned their heads away, and towards the floor. Before finally leaving, I turned to the cop, who had testified that Martin M. had been in a fight. I pointed to that guy, and told the guard to my right, “If that asshole’s your buddy, find better friends.”
I went straight to my supervisor, and told him to fire me. He said, “But you’re one of my best attorneys. Why would I do that?” I said, “Because if you don’t, starting tomorrow, I will begin missing hearings, failing to show up to meet clients, and intentionally fuck up royally, and doing it so badly that you’ll wish you would have listened to what I am saying to you at this very moment. Fire me!” He sat down and said, “Ah, geez!” I said, “If I quit, I can’t collect unemployment benefits, which would be a pretty damn good payment at a monthly salary of sixty-four hundred bucks.” I said, “I wanted to go to the beach, stay up late, get drunk, and maybe even smoke some weed, play my guitar again, get my chops back, and do whatever the hell I wanted to do. Fire me, or you’ll wish you had.” The boss then said, “You’ll be the third one this year.” I cut him off saying, “And for very good reason.” He said, “OK! You’re fired.” I grabbed his hand and shook it profusely. He stood, and gave me a real handshake. There was silent for a moment. That silence seemed to say that he wanted to go with me. He took a deep breath, and we said our goodbyes. He promised to send me notice immediately. Just then one of the clerks from the court entered the office, and tried to hand me the case file, which I left on the defendant’s table. I said, “Give it to him.” Meaning, it was no longer my concern. The clerk said, “The judge wants to see you in his private chambers.” I told the clerk to, “Tell the judge to go pound sand.” The clerk looked at my former supervisor, and he said, “You heard him. Tell the judge to pound sand.” I kissed the clerk on the cheek, reminded her that if it bothered her, she could file a criminal charge against me for assault, an unwanted physical contact. I turned, and skipped out of the building, and didn’t bother to turn back, and give it one last glance, just as I had in law school.