Sometimes, in my job, I have a day when I move into a microcosm and the rest of the world is required to stop. This is one of those days.
Today is the sentencing for my client that was accused of the first degree murder of her abusive husband. When you represent someone for far more than a year, you either like them very much or dislike them very much. I like Ellen very much. So, even though I have been working in Criminal Defense for twenty-five years, on sentencing day for a client I like, my chest is tight, and I pray we have left no stone unturned both in investigation and in preparation.
To make it more stressful, Dateline-NBC is interviewing Ellen this morning. Their Producer made arrangements with the judge to set up in the jury room off his courtroom for her interview. The judge refused to permit her to wear street clothes for the interview or for her sentencing. She will be dressed in the orange jail jumpsuit. The Dateline Producer has brought her a scarf from the Metropolitan Museum and we’ll arrange that over her shoulders. I have her makeup that her mother brought me. I think the interviewer should apply it for her. (He’s the guy that powders his face at every break.) In the hearing about the clothing, the judge said that he thinks the orange jump suit looks like the scrubs that doctors wear, and he doesn’t find it humiliating or denigrating at all. I didn’t have enough time this weekend to find orange scrubs to wear, and I’m not sure I would have done it — though the irony tickles me.
The sentencing will be at 1:30. There will be witnesses, the deceased’s family members are permitted to speak — and will they ever. This will be a gut-wrenching, heart pounding day. I had to blog about it in advance because by 4:00, or so, I will not have a live brain cell.
Wish us well.