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On October 24, 2019 was my first time visiting a court case and I observed the New Haven County Courthouse which is located at 121 Elm Street in the Downtown section of New Haven, to observe the case of Morales who served detention in March and was guilty in 2013. When entering the courthouse, I was welcomed by security and informed to remove any cell phones, laptops, or any other items that would generate a metal detector. In my opinion, security actions were very worthy at this location and I felt very protected. I was full of eagerness and was fairly amazed at this experience because I have never seen anything like this firsthand and only on television. I was properly dressed and did not really blend in with anyone else sitting in the courtroom. The lawyers seemed to come and go as they preferred, with no regard or detail for the events in the meeting. The case I went to observe involved a man named Mr. Morales who was on the street and involved in Drug Trafficking and prescription drugs.
Throughout this experience, I obtained new familiarity and understanding, as well as, a surprising way of seeing, thinking and being. In the Session Court that I attended, the physical appearance of the court is similar to what I saw on television, for example a show that I watch all the time, Law and Order Special Victims Unit. The judge sits in the center and in the presence of everyone at the front. I have never been in a court before; hence I did not have an idea of how court proceedings took place apart from what I saw on television in programs like the District and many others. In the first case to be heard, involved Mr. Morales who came in handcuffed, made eye contact with a look of confusion towards me and my friends because we came to observe his case. Mr. Morales was on the street when the corruption happened to him. The government wanted to revoke him and have a pretrial.
The Orlando police were investigating him, and he was eventually arrested in Puerto Rico. He was a man who had a place to live and a place to work in his life. He violated probation in January 2018 and his case has been going on for almost six years. The judge says more “Deliberation” and that probation is not enough. Position statements and notions are happening later and regarding the sentencing schedule, a supplement for a pre-sentence report has to be done by November 13th. The sentencing memo is on November 22nd and sentencing will take place by December 4th. The government is going to file motion to revoke pre-trial release for Mr. Morales and his lawyer is opposing. He was heard by another judge on October 31st. When I entered the courthouse to observe my first case, I had a good sense of how empty and quiet the room felt as I sat through the trial. The judge was giving Mr. Morales’s attorney a hard time because of how late he was to the case. At first sitting through this experience, I was caught by surprised of how real it felt and I was astonished by how of the way things went.
My trip to the New Haven County Courthouse was an educational one as it was the first time, I have ever observed the official procedures of a court case. There were all kinds of people in the terms of gender, race, background, and rank in and around the courthouse each they’re for their own individual intentions. I found it thought-provoking to see how attorneys interacted with each other as well as the judge. I was also fascinated by getting a personal experience of how the law is dealt with and imposed in an official way thrilling my experience at the court to put more thought into my future in terms of a career path.
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