I received a routine call from Jesica at Alternate Defenders Inc. [ADI] offering me a case on an appointed basis for a defendant my the name of Mr. Gerard. She was in the middle of giving me the relevant data when another call came in on her end so I was briefly put on hold. When Jesica returned on the line she told my that the other call was from Mary, another ADI lawyer, who she had called first on the Gerard case and was returning the call to accept the appointment. Jesica asked if I minded if the case went to Mary because she really wanted it. I had plenty of work at the time, so I told her that it was no problem if Mary got this one. I knew nothing about the client or the case.
The following day I was accosted by my colleagues Doug who asked me if I was taking the Gerard case. I told him that Mary had first dibs on it so I let it go to her. Doug said he had represented Gerard on a case when he was a baby public defender some twenty years earlier. I then heard of his recurring nightmare of his initial interview with Gerard in the Marin County Jail during which recounted the facts of his crime which consisted of full on fucking a nine year old girl. The worst part was that Gerard licked the salacious grin on his lips and expressed zero remorse for the acts which eventually landed him in prison for an all too brief period of time.
Come to find out that Gerard had, imagine this, done it again. It came to light that he had preformed a variety of sex acts on a number of neighborhood girls which undoubtedly will adversely affect their ability to have normal physical and emotional relations for the rest of their lives. As with a lot of cases of child sexual abuse, the family of one of the girls reported it to the police then after the allegations became public, more came forward.
The evidence against him was damning but he refused to accept any sort of plea bargain. Not that the offers were any actual bargain because the government was not going to repeat the prior error by ever letting him breath fresh air again.
Mary, ever the professional, drug him through a jury trial, the result of which was largely predetermined. The speculation was that Gerard wanted to see the little girls one last time, during their court testimony, so he could take with him a final memory with which he could masturbate himself into the eternal oblivion of a lifetime behind razor wire.
When it came time for sentencing a report and recommendation was issued by the Probation Department which set the tally at 250 years in prison for his sins. Mary made various legal arguments which lowered the penalty to 150 years.
The next day’s headline read, “Convicted Child Molester Gets 150 Years In Prison.” I ran into reporter Gary Klein, the author of the newspaper, on the courthouse floor a few days thereafter and registered my objection to the biased point of view.
“Why didn’t the story read, ‘Brilliant Lawyer Saves Man 100 years in Prison’. You reporters are so unfair. Always focusing on the negative.”