I think I am a little odd.
Not mentally unbalanced.
Just a little odd.
Most people in the good ol' US of A go around during their days trying to avoid traffic tickets, avoiding the obvious trouble maker in the neighborhood, and avoiding mentioning jail much less going to one.
I absolutely try to avoid traffic tickets. My State Bar Card is next to my Driver's License and an officer of the law ALWAYS notices it when I am stopped. It is embarrassing.
But I watch the neighborhood trouble maker. I keep my eye on that kid. I see who comes and goes from his house and I make sure I DON'T recognize him. Having clients on my block is a bit of a conundrum. Can't have them coming by asking for favors, etc. It is not good for business and it doesn't do well for my piece of mind.
But I like crime.
It is what I do.
I even have a t-shirt that says"what I do for a living is criminal".
I don't wear it a lot. People take it seriously and that requires explaining.
But when I am working and I get a call from a clerk at the courthouse somewhere that says "Can you accept an appointment on a 187?" my heart goes pitter-patter. I get all excited. (*Penal Code section 187=murder)
Autopsy photos, ballistic testing, DNA screenings, statements and speculation....pitter-patter---pitter-patter.
It is a mystery with a solution attached and my job is to find the alternative solutions.
So I dig and investigate (through my investigator) and I read and re-read. I examine and re-examine.
And all the time I know. I KNOW. That there is someone's life at stake. And I know. I KNOW. That a life is gone that I can't bring back.
I remember my first murder trial and I remember the last one that I did. I remember all the ones I have won. And I remember the ones that I lost.
Some were found not guilty. Some were found guilty of other charges. Some were found guilty of murder.
In any case, I remembered to respect ALL the players involved. For they were and are still people. People pushed to places most of us can't imagine. People with demons we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies.
I have sat with them and watched their demons play in their minds. I have sat with them and watched them blame themselves for not having more strength. I have sat with them and wondered what I would have done in their place. I have sat with them and cried and laughed and worried and wondered.
So if I am a bit odd, I am glad for it.
I am glad that a murder case is a thrill to me.
I am glad that I still feel that I can help just one person. If only to help them understand themselves and the world around them.
And, yea, I just got a call asking me if I would accept an appointment on a 187.
I said yes.