The Judge inhales long, exaggerated breaths through flaring nostrils, expelling air slowly through his aged lips, blue veins visible through the thin, dry skin, beginning to crack at the corners of his mouth. He ponders how many hours he has listened to cases such as this one, most with life-altering conclusions. Still, he listens attentively from his bench, gavel in hand.


Behind those inquisitive eyes, he silently yearns to exchange places, only for a fleeting moment with the offender, just to sneak a glimpse of what he harbors within, what makes him tick. Ironically, he tries to imagine that solitary moment of exhilaration when one is convinced of the need to commit the alleged crime, blocking the apparent consequences of being caught. He wonders, “what kind of emotion could possibly override logic and reason, knowing the consequences of being caught?” He realizes most motivations to commit the crimes in the cases before him today were mainly done out of desperation. Other cases are committed under the influence of addictive substances, and for those individuals, he has the most compassion, regardless of the crimes. He knows too well the disease of addiction, has his own skeletons in the closet, and at least two of those skeletons are hardly cold yet.

Beneath a cumbersome, flowing robe, he sits in academic judgment of the crimes committed by others, standing there in his courtroom, now frightened and anxious. He is an envious man with starry green eyes, hiding his secret envy from the courtroom filled with witnesses, curious onlookers, law students, as well as the accused and their defense attorney’s.

Today he considers with each breath the impact of what his decision might have on the life of the person standing before him on this day.

Here sits Judge B. Mused.

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