Musings of Captain Justice a/k/a Gil Jones

The Kindly Criminal

He really seemed like a kindly, grandfather-like old fella. Perhaps a bond reduction was in order.

Please let me out on bond

The defendant before me was seeking a bond reduction. His attorney averred — as they always do — that the offense was not “that bad,” that his client has a little record but no that bad, and had lot’s of reasons to stick around. The State’s attorney, Tom Cloudt, then began to question the defendant about his record. A defendant’s prior criminal record is key in a bond reduction hearing.

Turning to the 70-year old, tall and tanned defendant, Tom asked if he had any other offenses — other than what the defense lawyer had mentioned. “Not that I recall” came the answer. “What about the robbery in California in 1985” Tom inquired. “Oh, right, I forgot about that one” came the answer. In similar fashion Tom drew out the kidnapping in New Jersey, the DWI in Louisiana, and a few other convictions. Each time the “I forgot about that one” answer was offered.

The setup

Finally, with a grin on his face, Tom gripped the top sheet of the computer fan-fold printout (remember that paper?) and let the rest of it drop — all the way to the floor where more than a few pages remained stacked. Tom turned to me then, without saying anything at all. Defense counsel had already, quietly, stepped back a couple of steps. I easily understood that the State was opposing the bond reduction.

Dropping it

Suppressing my own grin at what had become a rather funny situation, I looked up at the defendant and said “Mr. Brown, when you first stepped up I thought you looked like a kind, grandfather-like old fella but it appears that you are nothing other than a career criminal.”

Bail reduction denied.

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