Courts are very crucial in our daily lives because they regulate our behavior towards others and if one is found breaking the law, he/she is taken to the courts where justice is administered. Courts were not only established to regulate human conduct but also to solve disputes that arise among humans.
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I had never been in court before; hence I did not have an idea of how court proceedings took place apart from what I used to see on television in programs like the District and many others. This report focuses on my findings of the administration of justice in the city of Bellflower in cases that were presided over by Judge Deborah Sanchez.
On a material day I arrived in court at around 9:00 am as if I was one of the parties whose case was to be heard. Upon entering the courtroom, I noticed on the wall which was written in big letters and it stated that no one was allowed to use a mobile phone while the court proceedings were in progress and thus I switched mine off because I only came to see what happens here. When the judge entered the court, we all stood up as a sign of respect, but I was reluctant to do so until another chap who was by my side pinched me.
The first case to be heard was that of a guy named Anthony Rogers who was accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol. The courtroom was filled with an awful stench as soon as Rogers was brought in. It was sure he had not taken a shower for several days, and the judge could not stand the smell; hence he ordered Rodgers to be taken to the nearest bathroom; thus his case was skipped.
The next case was that of a guy called Richard Collins who wore a very innocent suit that left many people wondering what had such an innocent-looking guy to break the law. It turned out that Richard had defiled a minor. At the end of the case, Richard was found guilty hence he was sentenced to forty years in prison. What amazed most people was the fact that the child he had defiled was his daughter. Everybody was satisfied with the judge’s verdict, and some people argued that he should have served a life sentence.
The case of Rogers left me worried about young girls because if a father who is supposed to be the protector of his family is their greatest threat then who should be trusted? What puzzled me the most was the fact that Rogers had a lawyer who tried to prove his innocence, but unfortunately, there was enough evidence against his client.
I don’t think I would defend such a person if I were a lawyer. I imagined how he was going to spend those years confined, and since he seemed to be in his early youth, I assumed he would die in prison because from what I hear about prisons the living conditions are ruthless and unfavorable.
I noticed that Judge Sanchez was attentive to detail because before he proceeded to the next case phone was heard ringing from the extreme edge of the courtroom, and when Sanchez heard it, she ordered the owner of that phone to be put behind bars for six hours. I felt lucky because mine was off, but I knew I would have been locked up if I had not turned it off.
I noticed that judges too have compassion over the poor and the elderly because of a case that involved an old lady who was accused of shoplifting in a local supermarket. The old lady pleaded guilty and said she would be comfortable with the judge’s verdict. She looked very composed as if she was the one offended. Judge Sanchez looked at her with eyes full of mercy and accorded her a fine of $3000.
In my perspective the judge did not sentence her because she was too old and confining her would add more liability to the government because old people are hardly in good health and since the corrective systems were meant to rehabilitate people this old lady would not be rehabilitated at her age. I walked out as the court at lunchtime, and from what I saw, I would not want to be on the wrong side of the law.