Should I Attend A Court Case Essay

Should I Attend A Court Case Essay

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For my field experience, I chose to attend a court case. On October 14th, 2015 I went to the District of Columbia court and watched a sentencing. It was not at all what I initially expected although after sitting in class for several weeks I was not shocked by it. What surprised me most was the informal, personal nature that the whole process had. The experience was interesting and I feel that I learned a lot from it.
The case I sat in on was the District of Columbia vs. Thomas. The trial started when the judge walked into the room. I was somewhat surprised by the lack of punctuality, the trial started almost fifteen minutes late. While I was waiting for the judge to appear and the trial to begin I had some time to observe my surroundings. The room itself was small with a modern design. It was broken up into two sections, the audience and the actual actors in the case. The front of the room, where the people involved in the trial sat, had three small tables, and each one was set up with a computer and a microphone as well as several chairs. On one side of this area, there were two rows of seats and a television screen. I assume that this is where their jury would sit. In the audience, there were several rows of benches where family, community members or the press could sit. Although there was a decent number of benches, for this trial only two of them were actually in use.
When the judge walked into the room the whispering stopped and the five people in the audience began to pay attention to the front of the room. The judge was a middle-aged male who looked intimidating and seemed to be well respected. To my surprise, we did not have to stand up when he entered the room. After the judge came out I assumed the jury would follow qu...


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...dant’s sentence. He sentenced the defendant to 31 months, which is lower than the lowest parameter for the sentencing guidelines. He explained that he was going to give the defendant a break this time, but it was the last time any judge should give him a break. After his release from prison, the judge stated that the defendant would be placed under supervision for the maximum amount of time, three years. Although the sentence was shorter than the prosecutor had recommended, she had recommended he placed under supervision for three years as well. The judge also informed the defendant that he would have to complete 200 hours of community service after his sentence. Because of his excellent speaking and writing skills the judge requested that the community service be fulfilled by the defendant going to schools and rehabilitation centers and talking about his experiences.

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