A Day in Criminal Court Essay

This essay has a total of 1271 words and 5 pages.

A Day in Criminal Court

A Day In Criminal Court

This week I had the opportunity to sit in on criminal court proceedings. I chose to visit
the White Plains Court House for the day and noticed quite a few things through out the
whole experience. I have been to different courts in the past, criminal, traffic, and
family, but never in the White Plains building. There were many details of the
proceedings, the image, and even the conditions of everything from the building itself to
the people involved that I found particularly interesting.

The first thing I thought when I entered the building was that it was not crowded. In
previous visits to Yonkers court the place was packed, let alone confusing. This
courthouse was different. The hallways were very modern and clean and it felt fresh to
me, not dark and dismal like it could have been. (I guess I have to also consider that I
didn’t have any charges against me so I wasn’t entering the building expecting to hate
being there) I was surprised by the security measures. It seemed as if it was too easy to
get through. I expected to have three or four metal detectors lined up for a big crowd,
but there was only one. Right away I got the sense that the size of the building was not
reflective of the amount of cases per day it accommodates. After speaking with one of the
guards I was referred to the criminal court room rather than the family court, due to what
he called a “more interesting day.” (I later got the impression that he just wanted
someone to talk to during the proceedings, because he kept coming over and asking me
questions and commenting on cases) The courtroom itself I thought was way too small.
There were only two and a half rows for people to sit and watch, forcing many people to
have to wait outside. That I thought was not a well thought out design. There is tons of
extra hallway space that they could have stretched the room out to make it bigger so you
wouldn’t run into those kinds of problems. The room also had extravagant fixtures hanging
from the ceiling. I don’t really understand the purpose of them, they may even have been
lights, but they just looked like a waste of money. I don’t think they serve any other
reason than to look pretty, and if that’s the case, they could have spent the money on the
room extension. That’s just my opinion of the building; another thing that struck me was
the people involved.

As I looked around the court room, I saw lawyers, citizens, guards, and of course the
judge. The judge, I was informed, was the night judge filling in for someone. I was
warned by “my buddy”, the guard, that he would be sluggish, but I thought it flowed
nicely. I must first speak of the lawyers because they bothered me the most. These
lawyers were slobs! I realize that you may not make a whole lot of money being a public
defender, but you could at least dress appropriately. One of these lawyers had his whole
hem hanging out with string following him everywhere. This guy’s pants were wrinkled and
his hair completely void of any type of brushing. I would never hire any one that looked
Continues for 3 more pages >>