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An Infamous Name!

Updated on December 26, 2009

Do You Remember People's Names?

A few days ago I was sitting in a juvenile court in an unnamed jurisdiction. The courtroom was nicely carpeted, the temperature was just like I like it, colder than an angry wife. The mahogany trim was glistening, the huge lawyer table was as smooth as the borderline criminals who sat around it. The court clerk who is responsible for recording the Judge's decisions and actions was sitting to the right of the Judge. There were about 30 people in that courtroom that day, police officers, probation officers, and the lawyers.

Being a juvenile court, the procedure is not a typical court where the defendants sit in the courtroom awaiting their case to be heard. Instead, much care is taken that the files and charges levied against juveniles remains confidential to law enforcement and the defendants counsel in hopes when the juveniles become adults they can begin adult life unsullied in their criminal history. The idea is everyone is a kid and makes mistakes, let's give them a fresh start. With that brief description of the workings of this particular courtroom understood we begin the hilarity.

The Judge would, using brevity, describe aloud the cases and the defendants name. Then, he would ask the probation officer his opinion of the defendant and his/her disposition and overall attitude. The Judge would then look over the paperwork, and call for the defendant to come into the courtroom before the Judge to make his/her plea. Their lawyer and parents or guardian accompanied the horrified kids. This went on for awhile. Finally the Judge started to describe a case about a kid named Jeffery Jones Jr., Jeffery was accused of throwing rocks through old Miss Smith's windows.

The Judge went through the probation officers opinion and looked over the paperwork procedures. While he was looking over the paperwork, the courtroom dead silent, the Judge clears his throat while looking over his glasses. His eyes scanning the courtroom, seeing if anyone was paying attention, then looks to his clerk and says as quietly as he could, "Am I reading this right, is his Daddy's name Jeffery Dammit Jones?" The clerk, obviously trying not to laugh, uselessly attempts to fight back a smile. She then informed the Judge he was in fact reading the name correctly. The whole courtroom including the Judge burst into laughter. After the giggles subsided the Judge sarcastically said, " I've never heard of anyone named Dammit before, dammit that boy ain't got a fighting chance."


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