Last Tuesday I had the good fortune to be seated in the Superior Court of Lumpkin County along with my oldest son, who had been stopped months ago for not wearing his seat belt.
He was guilty, and ready to pay the $15 fine.
Apparently he didn't have his Driver's License in his possession, which added $10 to the total which was now $25.
Lawyers got involved at that point, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Rather than accepting the $25, our District Attorney decided to make an example out of John and things ratcheted up to the point where John had to drive up from South Florida to make an appearance at his arraignment last Tuesday.
--took two days off from work
--rented a car to drive up here ($250 plus gas)
--paid his lawyer over $800 to go with him, and
--spent four and a half hours sitting in court waiting to resolve the issues
I went with him for moral support. I thought my head would explode.
The DA (which can represent more than just "District Attorney") was obviously already way ahead of the game. I'm not sure which office he's running for, but he's campaigning for something.
I will not vote for him, even it's just for dogcatcher.
Again, John was guilty, said so, and was willing to resolve all of this before he moved back to Florida. The DA wouldn't hear of it.
Our Justice system hard at work.
His was the second case called, at 9:08am. It was postponed until "later" in the docket.
At 12:32pm, the judge lit into the DA with full force, questioning why
--John had to drive up from Florida for a $25 ticket
--why the case was in Superior Court, when it was a Probate Court issue
--why there were no court costs involved, and
--basically, why were we all there
The DA had no answer. John went downstairs, paid the fine, ate lunch with his family, and went back to Florida.
There are rapists, murderers, drug dealers, assaults, etc. which all have to come before the Superior Court of Lumpkin County, Georgia.
And then, there's John Berry, threat to society, fugitive, and lawbreaker.
Justice is expensive.