Monday, July 2, 2012

For some reason this evening, I feel royally drained - emotionally, mentally - at least.

A client was in court today for a Ferreta Hearing.  This is a hearing where a defendant asks the court to represent himself.  This is a death penalty case - capital murder.  The State of Texas is seeking the death penalty.  The client wants the death penalty.  As he says "None of my family wants me alive anyway."  

I sat in the courtroom today listening to this guy's history.  Dad died before he was born; Mom committed suicide when he was 2.  Because of the SSI checks he received an Aunt and Uncle took him in.  He was beat on a regular basis.  He went to live with his grandparents.  He loved them.  They were his life.  His "PawPaw" died when defendant was 14.  His "MawMaw" died when defendant was 15.  His world crashed.

He has an 8th grade education.  He is street wise and self taught in many ways - some for the good - many others, not for the good.

My heart hurt hearing his story.  He has spent over 1/2 of his life in and out of prisons or institutions.  

Sitting quietly in the gallery behind him, defendant turned to ask one of the guards who was the lady in street clothes.  The officer told him.  The defendant looked at me.  "Who are you?" he asked.

"I'm your private investigator." I said.

"Who is paying you?" he asked.

"I am court appointed just like your attorney is," I replied.

"I guess you hate me too?" he asked.

"No, I like you and I have sat back here praying for you during this hearing." I responded.

Big Bad Defendant melted.  The courtroom was silent.  No one said a word.  And, Big Bad Defendant never uttered another cuss word.

I look at clients like him and wonder with all the smarts that he has learned on his own, what he would have been like if someone would have just loved him?  What made him turn out to be a racist?  What made him hurt so badly that he wants to hurt others?

I think of the furniture and other things that have been discarded on the roads that I pick up and refurbish.  I think of my own life and the flaws I have.  So many times we discard people simply because they don't add up, because they aren't what we as a society think they should be.  "The Lost Ones" as I was told today.  

I'm glad that God doesn't give up on us.  I am glad that God doesn't discard us just because of our flaws.  And, perhaps one day, Big Bad Defendant will remember there was a gray haired lady sitting behind him that said she was praying for him.  And, I did - for well over 2 hours.  

No one is perfect.  We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God....who am I to discard another human?  I may not associate with certain ones, I may stay clear of others....but I am not discarding a life....and in the end....maybe Big Bad Defendant will accept Jesus as his Savior and ask for forgiveness....and maybe somewhere he will learn to forgive himself.  We all deserve that opportunity.