It is after 7 and the sun is just rising. Gray clouds overhead. The sun is sneaking through causing silver streaks on the water. Cool to view.
Key West is in its first cold spell of this season. It was only 88 yesterday!
I spent the morning sitting on my deck reading. The book is about my former home town, Utica, New York. It is a history of Utica written by Judge John Walsh. It is one of the books that Ann, my reporter friend of yesteryear, gave to me last week.
I knew Judge Walsh. He was a big burly Irishman. Soft spoken. An easy going personality. He was a judge most of his professinal life. First as a City Court Judge. Then as a County Court Judge.
County Court judges tried the big criminal cases. Then and now. And that is how I first met Judge Walsh.
It was 1961. I was a new lawyer. Had yet to try my first case. The telephone rang. It was Judge Walsh’s secretary. The judge wanted to see me. I ran to his office. This was the first time any judge had requested my presence.
The Judge assigned me to represent an indigent in a criminal case. A murder case! There was no public defender in those days. The Judge generally assigned a young attorney to represent the poor in criminal cases. It was supposed to be a good way for the young attorney to gain experience. The issue of justice and how an inexperienced lawyer impacted on the accused never came up. It was years later before the system recognized the need for competent counsel to be appointed.
In any event, I was assigned to represent an indigent black. The scenerio alleged was that my defendant murdered a white man while the white man was orally copulating him in an alley. And that my defendant robbed the man of something like $5 thereafter.
We tried the case for 5 1/2 weeks. It was my first trial. That is probably why it took so long. I was incompetent! But persevering! My cross examinations were long.
The charge again was murder. The jury was out for 25 hours straight. No sending them off to a hotel for the night. There probably was not enough money in the budget.
The jury returned about 4 in the morning. The verdict was guilty of robbery in the second degree. My defendant was found not guilty of the murder charges and robbery in the first degree. He was found guilty of the least charged offense, robbery in the second degree.
When the jury verdict was read, my defendant looked at me and said, “You shit bum!” So much for saving him from the elecric chair!
Judge Walsh sentenced him immediately. Things were different in those days.
The Judge gave him the maximum. 18 months. He had already spent 24 months in jail awaiting trial. With credit for time served, he was a free man to walk out of the courtroom. My defendant looked at me again and said, ” You’re terrific!”
Such is life!
We celebrated Lisa’s birthday last night.
Lisa wanted to have dinnner and cake at home. I had wanted to take them all out. So it was Lisa, Corey, me and the grandkids at Lisa’s kitchen table.
A good time was had by all!
Corey baked the birthday cake with the help of the grandkids. Robert and Ally were thrilled. The cake was absolutely delicious.
Lisa is happy and I am happy for Lisa.
My birthday gift to Lisa was a painting. I started it yesterday afternoon. Since I was using acrylics, I assumed I could do it all in an afternoon and it would be dry.
I was mistaken. I had to so some painting over and could not because the paint was still damp. So I told Lisa the painting was a work in progress. She will get it in a few days.
Tonight bocci. We are on a high. We have won all 3 games the last 2 thursdays. Tonight we play the number 2 team. We are cocky. We think we can beat them!
Tune in tomorrow to find out!
Enjoy your day!