Some people live in a world that the rest of us can't even begin to recognize.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 9: Oops, his "Manland" fell out of his shorts

Today my attorney presented a motion in court trying to reduce my sentence. Several women and men also had hearings back in the courtroom. I was shackled to two woman who also had court dates. We were driven to court in a van that had a separation down the middle-- one side for men, one for women. In spite of the metal wall between the two sides, I've never heard such disgusting language in my life. Even though the men and women could not see each other, their discussions were all sexual in nature. Graphically sexual. I'm no prude, but I had no desire to hear what could have been the sound track to an x-rated film while I was on my way to court.

My attorney tried to present his motion, but somehow, neither the judge nor the prosecutors had received copies of it. While copies were made and they looked them over, I had the opportunity to talk to my attorney. I'm always open to new knowledge, but what he told me shocked me. He explained that 'jail' and 'prison' are not the same thing, and that the judge had sentenced me to PRISON, not jail! I always thought those two words were synonymous. No. Apparently jail is run by counties. Being sent there doesn't really stain that "permanent record" that everyone is concerned about since childhood, and people in jail are not as "bad," or as "criminal," or as "deviant" as people who are sent to prison.

WHAAAAAAAAAAT? But I'm not bad, criminal, or deviant. I haven't even broken the law. Ever! I wait for the WALK sign before crossing the street. I have never used any kind of drug. I have never stolen anything. I have never driven after drinking. I water my lawn only during the hours the city says I can. I purchase lawn waste stickers to pay to discard my grass and tree clippings and weeds. I've been to jail a little over a week now, and it is truly a scary, dehumanizing place. I think my attorney was trying to explain that prison is even scarier, more dehumanizing, and clearly leaves a major stain on a person's permanent record.

I remember reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter where an adulteress had to wear a bright letter A on her clothing as punishment. I've certainly never committed adultery, but I feel like I will be forever scarred with a Scarlett F (for felony) branded somewhere on my body.

Well, court today did not go so well. Even though my attorney had written a very long "brief" (isn't that truly an oxymoron?) and the judge and prosecutor 'pretended' to read it over, the judge clearly had no intention of shortening my sentence. He even stated that my sentence is six months shorter than he COULD have given me. I guess I was supposed to kiss his ass in thanks for that favor.

Well, court was depressing. Wearing shackles and a prison uniform while my husband was in the court audience was even more depressing. Tripping while trying to walk in shackles brought a big laugh from the prosecutor. However, my trip to court was not a complete loss. I got to hear other cases while waiting for mine to be heard. One man, who apparently has been accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with an adult woman insisted he was innocent. He explained that, on the day in question, he happened to be wearing an old pair of really short jogging shorts. And, Ooops! his "Manland" happened to fall out and touch the woman's "Womanland."
Everyone except the judge burst out laughing in unison. Laughing hysterically. We were all laughing so much that the judge ordered the courtroom clear of everyone except those involved in Mr.Manland's case. My only regret is I never got to find out if his "Escaped Manland" defense was successful.

So, court did not turn out at all helpful for me, but at least I got a good laugh.

No comments:

Post a Comment