July 8th, 2005

botticelli

My day in the legal system

Went to Morris's* motion hearing this morning, then visited him in jail this afternoon/evening. The courtroom was different than I imagined; it was smaller, and less legally blonde-esque. The judge was late, we had to move courtrooms before it started, and for awhile before certain records or people or something got in, it was very informal. Lawyers and judge and bailiff all discussing random office gossip. It was weird to see that. We were talking/mouthing/gesturing to Morris for awhile, but then were asked to stop (before anything really started) by one of his defense lawyers. Later I saw a sign that said if you communicate with the prisoners you could be arrested. I'm glad we were warned. After it finally started, Morris's trial took all of like five minutes. The judge just had to re-word how the probation time was stated, because it was unclear at the sentencing on Monday.

The jail was almost how I had expected it. We had to wait forever (mostly becuase we got there right when non-visiting hours were starting, and wouldnt start back for an hour and a half), but eventually went to a room with little cubicles with a phone, counter, and a three inch thick pane of glass between us. It was just like it was on TV. I made him tell me about his cell, the guys there, a typical day, etc. He said everyone's being nice to him so they can get "favors" from him. It took me a minute but I figured out what he meant!

He's going to be in the jail for two weeks, then sent to a "processing" center whatever that is, and then shipped to prison somewhere in Florida. Criminals are much different when you know the guy in person. The least time he could be in there is until March. That's with five days credit every month for being good, plus apparently if you do extra work or something you can get credit for extra days. The most time would be until July of next year, assuming he doesn't commit any crimes whilst in jail/prison.

Speaking of knowing someone, the guy whose hearing was before Morris's looked way familiar to me. I looked him up on the Dept. of Corrections website and found out that he used to be in Gainesville, so thats probably where I know him from. His name is Michael Milinkovic (link takes you to picture and crime info). Do any of you Gainesvillians possibly know where I may know this guy from?


*name has been changed to protect the guilty. Always wanted to say that.