I choose for my, “Day In Court” assignment to venture to the Winchester County Circuit Court. It was a brisk, rainy Monday and to my own dismay the courthouse was nearly empty. The only cases in session were in, “2D” a smaller sized courtroom on the second floor. As I walked in and was met with wary eyes the judge started to call out a list of various names; Robert Delgado Pinto, Brandon Segfurd, Steve Everett, Joseph Holland, and Billy Kessner. I was very curious as to why the judge was calling out these various names.
Then I figured out by scanning the courtroom that all the names listed were the civilians in the room waiting nervously to be called up to the stand. This certain Monday in the courthouse only consisted of appeals and recalls unfortunately. The first man called to the front of the room to stand before the judge along with his short Asian attorney was Brandon Segfurd. When Brandon stood before the judge, the judge made him swear an oath, raise his right hand and say, “I will tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help me god. I couldn’t quite understand what the judge was saying, but it sounded as if Brandon’s case was due to a drug charge or DUI I wasn’t certain. The judge turned to Brandon with an unflinching stare and asked him why he missed his June 26th court date? (Still not sure what the June 26th apt. was necessarily. )
Then the judge asked Brandon why he missed his ASAP class and ASAP apt. without notifying the judicial system. The next set of questions the judge asked Brandon consisted of, “Are you employed,” “What is your current address” “have you received these letters notifying you of your June 26th apt. “Where were you living during the time of June 26th? ” In response to the serious, somewhat grim judge, the attorney answered with a pathetic cycle of excuses such as “victim of unexpected attack,” “financial issues had to change apartments,” “car crash made my client unaware and bedridden. ” The judge didn’t care for these silly excuses and said, “120 days previous jail sentence, 90 days suspended, 30 days served, next. ” For the next 2-3 hours these appeals and so called recalls went on and on. The judge didn’t budge on any of the cases where the defendant skipped his previous court appts.
Every single time the defendant was sentenced to 30-120 days of jail due to their incompetence. The judge in each appeal or so called “recall” (I honestly don’t know the difference) case started off by making the defendant swear an oath, then asked them what their address was, where they currently live and so forth. The judge then would let the attorney have a rebuttal. The attorney would explain why their client missed his certain apt and ask for no jail time. The judge coldly declined the defendant’s plea each time, to my own amusement.
The hot shot Bailiff who was super antsy, and annoyed during these 3 hours would then escort the defendant out of the courtroom I’m assuming to transfer them to the Winchester County jail. All in all my experience at the Winchester County Circuit Court was very beneficial & interesting. I am a criminal justice major and my goal in life is to end up working in law enforcement so to learn all the nuances of courtroom appeals & recalls, and how testimonies work, was very compelling to me. I thought this assignment was very unique and to watch a down to business merciless judge do his thing was awesome.