For the past three weeks, I've been working with the wife of one of my client's. You see, she's the alleged victim in not one, but two, domestic violence cases. I picked up the first one, and then he was arrested subsequently for alleged assaulting her again. He is hispanic and I'm finding that, as a general rule, hispanic folk get screwed when it comes to the criminal justice system.
And you read that right: I've been working with the victim. I've had her into the office a couple of times and she has clearly recanted. For the past week and a half, she's practically been stalking me, turning up at the courthouse when she knew that I would be in Court. She's arranged to have medical records faxed to me, has executed affidavits invoking the marital privilege, has written statements for us in which she recanted, wrote to the prosecutor and recanted, and even called the prosecutor. You see, she has a long list of mental health problems, among which is a neurotic fear of abandonment. She thought that her husband was cheating on her, when in fact he was just going to play soccer, and she got even. I'm not clear on the circumstances of the second incident yet, but she claims that he never touched her.
I had calendar call on Friday and requested that the Judge reconsider bond in my client's case. The Judge initially wasn't interested in entertaining the motion, until I explained that the alleged victim was present. The prosecutor told me that she would ordinarily be seeking to revoke my client's bond, but she had a "fruitcake" for a victim.
Yeah, you read that right, too. The empathy from the other side of the aisle is often underwhelming.
So, we went ahead and had the bond motion, the Judge spoke directly with the victim and quickly came to understand what was going on. He ended up giving my guy a signature bond in both cases.
When I went back in the lock-up to explain what had happened, the translator wasn't there, so we had a brief conversation in broken English. I could tell that he was nervous, and I said to him, slowly and clearly, "you're getting out tonight." At that point, he put his face down in his hands and, sobbing, repeated, "Thank you so very much" about ten times.
The translator soon came in and I gave him the full run-down on where we stood. But, that moment is going to stick with me a for awhile.