Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Sunday Feeling

When I was a young lawyer I was scared to death of judges.  Now I am a not-so-young lawyer and I'm no longer scared of them.  Part of this has to do with the fact that I have more experience now.  But it also has to do with the fact that I knew most of these folks when they were plain old lawyers just like me before they were transfigured.  So while I respect them, I'm not afraid of them.  

And I am friends with a few of them.  Got a text message from one the other night.  And I played golf the other day with another one.  When I was young in the practice the notion of my playing golf with someone who wears a black robe 8 hours a day would have been unthinkable.  Now it's no big deal.

I know Judge pretty well.  We have eaten lunch together and serve on committees together.  We had just never played golf together until the other day and I hadn't spent a whole lot of time with him since he went on the bench.  

We had a great time both playing golf and catching up on old news.  And while we really didn't talk much business-mainly because he can't but also because I have none to discuss-I did take the opportunity to ask him how seeing the practice of law from the other side had changed him.  

" I'll tell you," he said as he gazed downrange as we waited for the group ahead of us to clear. "I now understand that removing people from society for long periods of time is a very real part of my job."  

Former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman got himself arrested in Florida the other day.  He was charged with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after a domestic disturbance in which he is said to have threatened a lady friend with a shotgun and to have shattered a glass table.  He is free pending the trial, but one of the conditions of his bond was that he not possess firearms.  

To which I reply "about damn time."  

If you may recall, Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of teenager Trayvon Martin a scant four months ago.  In September his ex-wife called 911 after she alleged that he threatened she and her father.  The authorities found insufficient evidence to charge him with that offense.  

Some people just have a nose for trouble.  And it would appear that Zimmerman has such a proboscis himself.  He latest attorney is a public defender.  This is because, according to CNN, he is liquid in the amount of about $150 and owes 2 million in debts.  This implies a history of poor decisions leavened with a healthy dose of bad luck.  In other words, George Zimmerman is a loser.

But as a friend of mine said the other day after learning of Zimmerman's currant run-in with law, "Who would have thought that the slaying of a teenager wouldn't be the stupidest act of a lifetime?"

Indeed.  But there are some people who resist the temptation to lead a quiet normal life.  And Zimmerman appears to be one of those folks.  Even after after having that life restored to him by the jury in perhaps the most racially charged case since the OJ Simpson case.

Me?  I lay low.  But then again, I wouldn't have gotten myself-and in fact- haven't gotten myself into any of the fixes our hero has gotten himself into.

Back here in my little neighborhood, we have been experiencing a spike in property offenses.  People are justifiably angry and scared in equal measure.  We are having a meeting Monday night to discuss this.  One of the topics presented will be whether to form a neighborhood crime watch.

I am less than sanguine about this option primarily due to the Trayvon Martin case.  While I am reasonably sure that we don't have many cowboys like George Zimmerman running around over here in Hillcrest, you never really know.  But I am just one vote.  

I just hope that if we go that route that it will be after extensive training and be subject to stringent rules of engagement.  One Trayvon is too many.

And if George Zimmerman is convicted on the most recent charges, he needs to be removed from society. And he doesn't need to own a weapon ever again.  

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