Thursday, October 26, 2006


Our co-ed indoor soccer team, BALL, won 10-1 last night. Yay! We have never had such a decisive victory, even against short-handed teams. This team looked like they have a few guys who knew what they were doing, but they didn't really utilize their women, and they did have a few guys who looked new or at least inexperienced.

I was excited to have my first game with 4 goals! (Techincally, only 3 of the goals counted, because the other team whined so much about one of them that the ref agreed to take it back. He only agreed since it was 6-0 and he simply gave into their bitching. They said the throw-in went off the ceiling net, which is a penalty, but A: He didn't see it, and B: It didn't hit the net. But the goal itself was sweet, a throw in from Sam that I headed into the goal past the goalkeeper.) My previous record was 3, coming last season in a 3-3 tie. That was a much more exciting game actually. We were down 3-0 at half time, and I had been playing in goal. I wanted to play up front because I had been watching their defense and had devised a cunning plan to score. So, I came out and made Shawn play in goal for the second half. He did well, they didn't score, and I got a hat-trick! Very exciting. Last night's game was not as close, obviously, but it was still pretty fun to get a good rythm going with everyone. Hopefully that will carry over to the games against some of the better teams.

On Tuesday night my men's team had a disappointing game. We lost 7-0 against the top team in the league. Well, it can only get better (hopefully!).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pimpin' Aint Easy

Until today I was preparing for a big trial with seven co-defendants, all charged with Pimping. Now, the state has re-indicted the case to drop all of our client's charges except for Possession of Marijuana!! This is the FIFTH time the state has indicted this case, and hopefully it will be the last. Our client has no record and he's a very nice guy, hopefully this case will go away very quickly with a reduced charge in a plea bargain.

It was hard work preparing for this trial, it was going to be a very lengthy one with lots of defense lawyers (one for each co-defendant), lots of testimony, heaps of evidence, and some uncomfortable charges. The good news is that all the hard work paid off: Not with a trial, but by convincing the DA's office that they had some serious problems with their charges.

It took almost a year from the original date of the arrests: November 10th, 2005. All that hard work was mostly done by the senior attorney in my group, Kevin. I came in towards the end, just a few weeks ago. Even though I've only been on this case for a relatively short time, it still feels like a load off of my shoulders to not have all these charges pending. I can't imagine how good our client feels. . . At least, I hope he's happy with this result, and I hope the case is resolved to his benefit when all is said and done.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I went to prison

I went to prison yesterday. Just for the afternoon. The one I was in is located in Forsyth, GA (here). It was very clean, bright and generally organized. Much nicer than the county jail where I spend much more time. I have a nice conversation with one particular inmate. Very pleasant fellow. He's going to be one of our witnesses at an upcoming trial (hopefully). The people there (guards, security etc) were very pleasant and friendly to me and my investigator, Jeff. They were also much nicer than the staff at the county jail, a refreshing change for us.

If I spend more than one afternoon in prison, I would want it to be there!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ankle Sprain

(Don't my slippers look comfy?)
I sprained my ankle, but only a little. As you can see, it's a bit swollen, and just a little black and blue. I was playing frisbee yesterday and ran into a kid; his shoe fell off, my ankle turned over, it was pretty funny looking. I would have laughed if it hadn't hurt. So, I plan on a few days of rehab and then I jump back into the mix. Soccer is off this week, so that's lucky. I have a week to recover, then it's back to Saturday frisbee, Tuesday Men's League Soccer, Wednesday Co-Ed Soccer.

Hopefully I will be going biking today. The ankle should be fine on the bike, as long as I don't fall to my left in any way that requires me to catch myself on it. That would suck.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Child Molestation Trial

This week I participated in a trial on the charge of child molestation. The jury returned a guilty verdict and the judge sentenced him today. Here's what the Atlanta paper said about the sentencing hearing today (it's long, and the paper got some of the details very wrong, but it is quite telling):

Judge gives child molester an earful

Staff report
Published on: 10/13/06

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall made no attempt to hide his disdain this week in sentencing a convicted child molester.

Here are his excerpted comments in court as he sentenced 48-year-old Michael J. Pearson on one count each of child molestation and aggravated sexual battery on Pearson's 5-year-old step-granddaughter.

The offenses occurred in 2001 while the girl was living with Pearson and his wife in a Hapeville motel.

The assistant district attorney is Rewa Collier, who is asked by the judge about the calls Pearson made from jail, attempting to enlist his wife in discouraging the victim from testifying. The victim's name has been redacted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Schwall: Now it is my time to speak.

Your perverted and morally repugnant conduct is most repulsive and despicable and cuts to the core of evil. Clearly, you have no conscience. What you are and do and what you are all about is offensive to the souls and the conscience of a civilized society.

Children are wonderful, and one of the most enchanting things about children is their absolute innocence. Their unconditional love and the unconditional trust of people they think love them and people they clearly love.

The past is an indicator of future conduct, absent any meaningful willingness or attempt to change the conduct. I have heard from the state that I didn't allow the jury to hear that there were — how many phone calls from this inmate from the jail to the grandmother of these three or four children who have been molested?

Collier: 146.

Schwall: And those were collect phone calls from this defendant to the grandmother of those children?

Collier: Yes, judge.

Schwall: And on the tapes, there is tape-recordings that say that — and that I would not let into evidence — that say certain things. What is it that the tapes said?

Collier: The gist of the tapes will say in summary over and over and over again: Make sure that [victim's name] doesn't come down here to testify because if she testifies, then I'm gone. So make sure that she does not testify. And it just says it over and over, and I'm going to ask for a jury trial, if she doesn't come down here to testify then they'll have to dismiss it. Make sure she doesn't testify. And she actually carried out those conversations in the form of contacting her daughters. She contacted [one daughter] and [that daughter] was the one who contacted [the victim] with the messages from the grandmother not to come down here and testify.

Schwall: The grandmother of these children, your wife, is a coward. She is a coward because she can't come and sit in this courtroom and let all these jurors see that you're more important to her as a sexual predator than her grandchildren. She is a coward because she can have all these phone conversations and try to influence witnesses and try to tamper with witnesses, but she can't come here and let this jury see her face, and I cannot imagine the mothers of these children allowing them to have anything to do with the woman you're married to. And if I look or sound upset, I am. I am going to impute the conduct of the grandmother to you.

She is despicable and disgusting, and she is morally bankrupt. She has chosen evil — and you are evil — over what is right and good and moral. I'm going to make the following findings of fact in this sentencing. That you are a sexual predator. That you are an extreme danger to society as a whole, and especially to children.

I am going to make a finding that rehabilitation, whether it was tried with you or not, failed. And I am going to make a finding that you did not even seek rehabilitation. I'm going to also find that you were somehow paroled from a 10-year sentence of these types of charges in Illinois, and that you committed this offense while on the Sex Offender Registry. I'm going to make a finding there is absolutely no way you can ever be rehabilitated. I'm going to make a finding that if you get out of jail on parole that it is my earnest and profound belief that you will victimize children.

You have no redeeming qualities. You are of no use to society. I hereby sentence you to life in prison on count one. On count two, the aggravated sexual battery, I hereby sentence you to 20 years consecutive, to come after the life sentence.

It is the intention of this Court that I sentence you to the absolute maximum that I can put you in prison, the absolute maximum, and it is my reading of the statutes that I have — and I am going to instruct the District Attorney's Office to send the sentencing part of this transcript to the Board of Pardon and Parole, and I want the Board of Pardons and Parole to know that I am vehemently, adamantly, without equivocation of any kind or type whatsoever, opposed to parole for this defendant ever.

And I want the Parole Board to be aware of the fact that I guarantee the Parole Board if this defendant is ever released from prison for the rest of his life that he will victimize innocent children.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Beer Explosion: Part Deux

We've had another accident at the plant... similar to the first Beer explosion, but on a lesser scale. The first one happened in March, '06 if you care to check the archives. I'm stil sad that there's no pictures of the prior explosion, since it was much messier than this one.

Early yesterday morning, whilst the wifey and I tried to sleep, we were awakened by a crash from the kitchen. We both lay there and went through various scenarios in our heads like, "was that the world's most clumsy burglar?" "Did the cat just eat an entire lasagne?" "How could a whole Jewish Wedding go on in the kitchen, and we only hear the end?"

I went to the top of the stairs and heard what I thought was the cat licking something up.... but then she stuck her head around the corner, looked up at me, and then looked into the kitchen. I guess she was not to blame.

Went I got down to the kitchen, I immediately knew what had happened by the sad scene of beer carnage. Earlier in the week I had brought a few large bottles of homebrew up from the cellar. These 1.5 liter bottles were some of the ones that we were unhappy with, not that they were naughty, just that they tasted bad, or were undercarbonated and over-alchoholed. (I know what you're thinking, "over-alcoholed?" Well, it's possible, I assure you.) These six large bottles were sitting in the kitchen, on The Green Mile, waiting for me to remember to pop them open and feed them to the fishes. One of the bottles that was not undercarbonated, once out of the fermentation-slowing fridge, started carbonating with some of the left-over yeast. The warm kitchen air slowly worked its magic and induced an explosion of the sealed bottle. Interestingly the cap did no blow off, it was the glass bottle itself that failed to contain the pressure.

Luckily, only one bottle blew its top and the others were not so distraught as to follow suit. Not only that, but the bottle was on the island in the absolute center of the kitchen, so no walls were injured in the explosion. The wifey was none-to-pleased of course, but it was not that hard to clean up. I bit the bullet and spent from 3:45 - 4:00 Saturday morning mopping and picking uptiny bits of glass. It would never do to have the cat drunk and picking glass out of her paws all weekend.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New Bike

Shocks.... Pegs.... Lucky!!

OK, it doesn't look this cool, but I got a road bike. I've been wanting to ride more, also get some training in for mountain biking. The problem with just having a mountain bike: there are no trails nearby, so I have to haul the bike and everything off in the car and then go for a ride. Now, I can just step out the door and do a few miles if I feel like it. Today I went over to Oakhurst village, near Decatur. It was a cool ride, mostly backstreets, only 45 minutes.

I'm looking forward to riding more often now, and even going carless to work sometimes.