Thursday, March 14, 2013

Empathy

Well, today was supposed to be the day the guy who broke into our house last year takes his plea.  Is that what you call it, "taking a plea"?  I should know this, I'm married to an attorney. 

This guy had broken into a house before our house and was caught but his case was resolved after our crime was committed.  So when he broke into our house he hadn't yet broken his probation.   He actually didn't even go to jail at all regarding our case, he turned himself in and when you do that you get a court date and you go home.  But then he was caught in possession of a firearm (as a felon) and that's what really did him in.  He's been in jail for that since October, I think.  That's the charge that revokes his probation.  And when they did the plea offer, everything was lumped together and the judge decided no, his revoking his probation should mean serving that time after our lump time.  And the guy who broke into our house didn't accept that plea offer adding 6 months (I think) to his sentence.  So now it goes to trial.

I admire that the judge did that, that he's actually in trouble now for his first break in.  This whole time I've been thinking - No Freebies.  It's easy when things start piling on to lump it all together as one thing but I never liked that.  And yet he's been in jail for months now and now that he's actually been punished and he was going to go to prison for a bit longer I was satisfied.  I was happy to end it, have it be over.

Brian says he has a case with the gun because he wasn't walking around with it, it was in the house he was staying at.  So that could potentially be dropped, meaning he didn't revoke his probation and he's only left with the break in of our house.  I don't even know what that mean if he's found guilty of our break in but not the gun charge.  For just our house, what is the punishment?  He left his fingerprint on our bedroom window so I think that's pretty solid evidence, it's kind of odd to have a jury trial with a fingerprint, kind of a waste of resources and a whole lot of peoples' time, but that's how the system works.

I've written two letters in the course of the last year.  The first one was more for the judge.  It was back when I was so worried about "freebies" and I wanted our crime to be considered on its own.  The second letter I wrote yesterday after one of my 4am wake ups where I can't fall back asleep.  I wrote the letter for the guy who broke into our house.

I've always had this sense in myself that if you just explain something to someone they could see your side.  I think it came naturally to me to see another person's side so I just assumed it did for everyone else as well.  And I believed it to be true until I started writing my blog and it began to get popular.  When I first starting getting negative comments I thought to myself oh I just haven't explained myself very well so I would try to re-explain my position.  And I was taken aback when this didn't work, people still hated me and didn't care to have me explain myself.  I could explain myself all day and they would feel the same way.  I think politics have gotten like this too.  You can explain yourself until the cows come home and people will still think what they were thinking at the start of the conversation.  I'm a liberal (who thinks she's an independent) and most of my family are hard core tea party so you can see how there's not any wiggle room there (and yet at the root of it we all want the same things, which is the funny part of it).

But there's still this part of me that wants to shake this kid who broke into my house and tell him, you hurt actual people, people with lives and hopes and dreams and problems and pain.  You added to that with no good purpose.  And after all these months of thinking about him and how is life got the way it is and how to change it for the better now, I wanted to tell him what the world had to offer him.  Did I think I was going to change him?  Just that dreamy part of myself.  But since the plea fell through my letter wasn't read in court today and will never be read to him.  And it's not over after today.  There's a jury trial next month.  A jury trial!  I never even imagined that.

1 comment:

  1. I can never understand why people behave so badly, so thoughtlessly, either. It seems so simple: don't do to someone else what you wouldn't want someone to do to you, right?

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