This week my client knew if he was convicted of aggravated robbery the sentence he'd receive would be meted out in letters rather than numbers. For those criminal defense lawyers out there you know what I mean. My client had been to the pen before on two different trips. His first trip down was on 3 felonies, two of which were aggravated robbery. His second trip was on 4 felonies, three of which were aggravated robbery. So the handwriting was on the wall if his jury trial gamble did not pay off.
At 4:00 pm today the trial judge sentenced my client to life imprisonment following the jury's 90 minute unanimous guilty verdict. Some may wonder how my client reacted? I can tell you he left the courtroom with a smile on his face. I can tell you he was pleased with the fight we gave the government and his buddies who snitched him out. This was his first jury trial and I asked him whether it was worth it. He said he regretted nothing. He was happy to lay his case on the line.
Like I said earlier this week - if my client is happy, then I'm happy. There were some issues worth fighting for on appeal and I encouraged him to keep his spirits up. Another lawyer will handle the post-conviction matters so my story on this case ends here. I'm tired after the adrenalin drip turned off about 5:00 this afternoon. I'll enjoy a nice rest this weekend.
A post script. Criminal defense practice is not always about handling hardship. While I was looking through my "in-basket" before leaving the office today I found an order granting a motion to suppress I had litigated about two weeks ago. The police had stopped my client for not having a front license plate on his vehicle. He did have a license plate on the dashboard, however. I wrote here about bad traffic stops under these precise circumstances. The result? The State has no case - we win.
Thanks for following the trial this week. I'll be back to boring discussions about this issue and that next week. However, I will endeavor to educate and entertain as best I can.