Injustice and Misuse of Power

The drive home from the courthouse is a blur. I don’t know how John drove us home. He pulled strength from somewhere.

I had chilled a bottle of white wine that morning. Surely the judge would see not only our son’s innocence, but the repeated inconsistent testimony given by the complainant, and last but certainly not least, that the prosecutor had reneged on an agreement made with us all, resulting in a loss of exculpatory evidence that would have been used to defend our son. Denied Due Process.

Instead of celebrating the end of a nightmare, and a new beginning; I drank the wine trying to numb the pain of injustice. I wondered what Drew was thinking, how was he doing, to which jail had they taken him? I couldn’t stop thinking. The details of the long hours listening to the judge arguing unreasonably with our attorney, with the autism expert, with our son’s therapist, with everyone who wasn’t in agreement with his perspective played unstoppable in my mind. I could see his face as he imposed basically a life sentence on my son. All of it represented what I hate to my core…injustice and misuse of power.

The phone rang. I wouldn’t have answered but I saw it was from Chesterfield County, and knew it was Drew. He was almost inaudible as he tried to talk choking back tears. His voice quivering. The officer had been understanding enough to let him call because he was worried after seeing me lying in the aisle of the courtroom. I told him I was okay. Hearing him cry pierced my heart.

He asked me how this happened. I had no answer. How do you make sense of something that makes no sense at all? I promised that I would come to the jail the next morning and bring his medications. When we hung up I felt like someone had pulled my heart out of my chest. I just wanted to hug and comfort my son.

I fell asleep in the clothes I wore to court that day.

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