Court service day in Jasper County. Two arraignments and two new appointments--one waiting for me and another from the people brought from the jail. The person in custody I am currently representing for the same offense as the new arrest. There are a few who really do not mind jail. The judges will not admit of that possibility in that they put these people in jail for the purpose of punishing them, but in fact, it is not punishment so much as a time out to get straight, dried out, or just to visit friends and associates they may not have seen for a time. My currently jail client is of that sort. Not anxious to get out, content to have three squares a day, watch a little tv, and catch up on the local doings in town.
I have one defendant charged with two counts of cashing in stolen lottery tickets. They are felonies. It borders on the unbelievable that cashing in a stolen lottery ticket is a felony--possibly, if they were to win millions, I could see it. But not for $30--give me a break. Sometimes you think that the goal of the legislature is to put everyone in prison. Even The Economist in its last issue wonders why we in America put so many people in prison. After all it is the land of the free.
Judge Brad McCall was in town sitting in Jasper County. I was of the impression that he would not preside here for at least a year in that this is the county in which he practiced, but is apparently not the case. They must be short of judges--vacations must not have been concluded. It is a possibility we may have a second judge from Jasper County. Terry Rickers is one of two finalists for the next opening which must be decided by the 19th of September. It would be a very different courthouse with two district judges after having been without for probably 25 years. A third judge, Judge Joy, will retire at the end of this month and there will be another vacancy to be filled. The three counties that are losing judges are Warrent, Dallas, and Marion, all of which, yet have judges. The second nominee against Terry Rickers is an attorney from Madison County. Madison County does not have a sitting district judge, but they don't have any people either so it really doesn't matter.