As anyone who’s been there will tell you, standing in front of a judge ready to pronounce sentence on you is an experience like no other. In my rough and tumble adolescence, I stood before several judges. One was old and nearly senile; another was young, aggressive, and politically conscious; and one, heaven forbid, was even fair. These differences aside, one constant strain runs through every court house in this nation and most others: ALL judges are absolute, unquestionable gods in their courtrooms. With their pronouncements and punctuating gavel slamming they break the strongest thugs and send mothers and wives to the floor in puddles of their own grief.
I once saw a judge—moments before I was to stand in front of him mind you—issue a string of multi-year sentences like he was ordering Chalupas at the Taco Bell drive thru. Apparently several people had been party to the same crime. They were all standing in front of him in a row clad in EBRPP orange. As he robotically read the law from a stack of papers on his desk, he started handing out sentences left and right: twelve years here, fifteen there, eighteen here, and twenty-five there and there. The panic I felt having to go in front of him, the blood from his victims still wet on the courtroom floor, sticks with me to this day.
When I heard this week that one of these assholes was finally getting his, I felt just a little warmer inside. I felt that the world was just a little bit better for it, the sun a little bit brighter, the breeze a little bit cooler, the grass just that much greener.
Here’s the story: Some cock judge in Pennsylvania had been sending a bunch of juveniles up the river for years at a stretch for such heinous infractions as going joyriding in mom’s car, getting in a fight at school, and making a blog post about how much they hated their principle. And, wouldn’tyaknowit, the fucking judge was getting kickbacks from the privately-owned juvenile detention center that benefited financially by having its cells full of low-grade delinquents. The goddamn lid was finally blown off of this insanely immoral arrangement recently. And this, and I think I’m being generous here, FUCKING piece of @#$%@#!!!! was finally convicted for it.
Soon this ex-judge will stand in front of another black-robed thug with a god complex and hear about the lives he’s ruined and the social damage he’s wreaked. And, for one tiny, yes-there-is-justice-in-the-world moment he’ll know exactly how small he’s made so many others feel.
And then he’ll be put in a cell with a child molester!