So this week's Spin Cycle with Gretchen at Second Blooming is on crime and punishment. Oh, the possibilities. Well, I'm a lawyer. So crime, the law, etc. are kind of...well...it's what I do. Well, not really, but it's all connected. Really, what I do right now is provide civil legal services so it's not really criminal. Mostly divorce. Honestly, the closest I was to doing anything related to criminal law was when I worked for the Department of Child Services.
I won't be talking much about what I did and case specifics, but really, my main job there was to work on termination of parental rights. You know, happy, fuzzy, good feeling kind of cases. The cases were mostly civil and not criminal, but honestly, most of the parents I dealt with also crossed over into the criminal side. Those were the cases that got a little scary.
I had one case in particular where the father whose rights I was trying to terminate was kind of scary. He had quite the criminal history. I would know, as I requested his entire certified criminal history and used it to cross examine him. He started his testimony off trying to paint himself as this reformed man, found Jesus in jail, it was a complete misunderstanding on why he was there, he was innocent, blah, blah, blah.
And then I went in for the kill.
See, when I cross examine someone, I don't get all emotional about it. I always laugh at attorneys (silently) who get all dramatic and make it seem like (or maybe they really do) get all affected by the case. My theory is this isn't my case per se, but the client's. So why would I get upset? Anyway, I would ask questions pretty nicely and calmly, get them all comfortable, and then make them look awful.
So this guy was talking about how reformed he was by his time. Me:
"So you were in jail for battery in 2003? Were you reformed when you left there?"
(Smile leaves his face) "Yes."
"What about when you went back for battery in 2005?"
(Glares at me) "Yes."
"And in 2007? Were you reformed then?"
"So what makes this time any different?"
I don't remember what his response was. But suffice it to say he wasn't happy. He had some sort of offense against him while in prison, too, for hurting someone on kitchen duty. And he said something about how he completed some sort of job training when he actually was kicked out for fighting someone.
This guy scared the crap out of me, but this little six year old girl deserved better. To be safe. So I pulled out all the punches. Suffice it to say, I had one of the bailiffs walk me out to my car.
There is a reason I don't do that work any more.
So that's my take on crime. See what other spinners have to share! Stop by Gretchen's blog and check it out!