The citation was heard in Traffic Court. During the run up to the pleaing process the only person to instruct those about to plea was the DA. She repeatedly "informed" the defendants that with this many cases, a plea of Not Guilty would mean staying there till 4 or 5 (it was 10am at the latest). She also "informed" everyone a couple of times that the day before she had won all the cases anyway and that many people "think' they have a valid reason for their actions but that they aren't "legal" reasons. The message was clear don't plead not guilty unless you want to waste your day for nothing and end up paying more.
At one point she returned from the hall with the news that a couple of people had threatened to report her for the intimidation session, to which she laughed and made fun of them. This was followed by an extra 15 minute lecture about why what she was saying wasn't intimidation. However, during this lecture she made sure to reiterate the same statements as to the fruitfulness of pleading not guilty. During this time most in the court were wishing she'd just shut up and get on with it.
After pleading not guilty and realizing that I would be going to trail this very afternoon, I pulled her aside in the hall during a lull to inquire about the possibility of getting a contiuance. I said that I had thought today's session was going to be a plea and then we set a date for the hearing unless they dropped the charge. I asked about getting a continuance, because had I know that we would be going to trial TODAY, I would have been represented by the ACLU.
At the mention of the ACLU, she did a literal and figurtative 180; walking back into the courtroom in a continuous "No. No. no. no. no. NO. nO. No. nO. no. NO. No..." I chased after her asking: "What does that mean? NO, NO, NO, NO, No...?" She eventually turned and said "No continuance for the ACLU".
Later, in my absence, a little bird heard the following conversion between the DA and the Citing officer:
"I'm dieing to prosecute this, I hope they don't get a continuance. They said they were going to bring the ACLU into this."
"If they were going to demonstarte, fine; just don't dump garbage. They should've rung the doorbell and talked with her (the governor). She probably would've let them in ..... until they dumped all this crap."
Her reference to the the evicted tenats property as GARBAGE and CRAP is indicative of the larger problem of disconnecting from reality that must take place for otherwise sensible compassionate people to to do a job that requires they not look at the human cost of their actions.
... but. "that's a cute little sofa".
There's also something a little disturbing about a system that allows it's subjects to go into a court hearing armed only with the advice of the person whose job it is to convict them.
To be Continuanced... April 13th
Related Links ::: Demonstration at Governor's Mansion Stumble It!