Road rage update
Mom always liked Sean Kavanaugh, long before he became a Judge in 2008. As I sat in his courtroom waiting for the sentencing of Mr. A (why give his last name) of Westland in the assault and battery case resulting from the road rage incident last June I began to get the picture of why she liked him.
Arriving early as I had not been in a courtroom since 1982 when Wayne County was sued and I was called to testify. Okay, one other time when I was called to jury duty and not selected. I listened to case after case of shoplifting and a couple dealing with drug possession. All fairly routine and to me boring. I was amazed that people would risk their future for a $12 t-shirt or $160 in shoes and CDs.
Or use the excuse that the self scanners wouldn't scan some food items.
Judge Kavanaugh with the patience of Job took each defendant pleading guilty through the steps asking where they worked, what school they went to, if they understood all that was being said. When the young person hesitated he calmly repeated and asked them questions to help them understand. Quite amazing.
The one case that caught my attention was a young woman who was turning 19 in the coming week, not in school, not working and with an attitude of "trying to figure out where to go to school." He accepted her guilty plea, told her to get off the sofa and start applying for jobs. A part of her requirement was to submit 5 job applications to him each month.
Really? His sentence caught me off guard and I chuckled while saying "right on." Quietly of course. I didn't want to get thrown out before my turn.
But the reason I was there was to offer a sentencing statement regarding the assault and battery charge filed against Mr. A when he stopped his car on Seven Mile, blocked traffic and approached my car and hit me. Not once but twice.
He had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine, community service and AA meetings five days a week plus anger management classes. The probation department recommended a short jail sentence which was eliminated by the Judge and replaced with additional stipulations. He apologized to the court for his actions. My statement was simple: "An apology to the court was not sufficient. I would like you to look me in the eyes, shake my hand and apologize to me."
Oh sure, I suggested I was afraid when he approached my car and that he gave a bad reputation to Livonia residents who have a hometown of which they are proud.
He did. That was it. Judge Kavanaugh stated that "this was not something that happens very often in this court." An apology and a hand shake.
It should happen more often. A handshake and apology.
I learned a lot. My mom was right to respect Sean Kavanaugh. I want to go sit in court more often to get a different slice of life. I look pretty good in a sport coat.
The coat made the day worth while. Well, partially. Seeing justice in action left me feeling good. Thanks Judge Kavanaugh. Not for my case but for caring about that 18 year old. I hope she got it before she becomes an angry adult that assaults a driver.