I have on occasion enjoyed a good court show on television. I always in the back of my mind wonder how much of it is true. I was subbing today at the local high school and immediately during first period, a student says we are outa hear in just a few minutes. I said, really where are we going. He said, there was court in the auditorium and not like mock trial. This was the real thing. I was wondering how this would work. Soon the announcement came on and we went to the auditorium. On the stage was the judge and his clerk. In the front row was a group of prisoners, in orange jump suits. There was also 3 deputies. I am thinking this is awesome!
The judge soon said this is now a court room, he firmly told an adult in the front to put their newspaper away. He said I run a tight ship and there is no newspapers and no drinks. He went on to say if you talk during court and you are above 18 you will be handcuffed and taken to jail and if you are under 18 you go to the juvenile detention center. I am thinking, wouldn't it be nice if teachers had the same privileges. He stopped court to explain different things. The judge takes his court once a year to every high school in the county. What a great experience?
He called case after case. I won't share all of them with you, because some of them I don't remember. However I will share some of the details worth remembering.
He calls a girl to the stand that has been in jail for what she says is four days. The deputy said it was two. The judge asked her again and she said she can't remember how many days she had been in jail. (I know, I am thinking the same thing!) He asked her why she had missed the second opportunity for community service and she said she doesn't remember having the first opportunity. The case was this, she was arrested for theft, he gave her community service, she didn't show up. She had to come back to court, he said against his better judgement he rescheduled her community service. She didn't show up again, they put a warrant out for her arrest, she gets hauled to jail. She is now in court. He put her back in jail.
A man who was picked up drinking and driving on a motorcycle, who was also dressed in an orange jump suit was up next. He was accompanied by a sister, aunt, cousin or something. (I didn't know you could bring someone with you.) He pleaded not guilty, meaning he would get another court date. They also needed to determine if he could pay for his own attorney. So the judge asked if he worked. He said oh yeah I am a coal miner. The teacher next to me whispered, not anymore. The judge said, great you can get your own lawyer. He said he would. The girl with him then asked for permission to speak. She asked about getting the motorcycle out of impound. The judge said that according to Ohio law after your third Driving Under the Influence the state impounds your car and sells it for the benefit of the state. I did not know that!
The judge stopped to explain how hard it is to get your license back from the state, leading to driving under suspension charges. He also explained insurance issues. It was great - and I think more high school should do it.