As I sat waiting in the court room yesterday I did what I often do and surveyed the faces populating the area. I especially pay close attention to the reactions of those sitting in the audience. I watch the surface of their often depressed expressions only hinting at their deeper turmoil.
I had one of those rare moments of heart yesterday, while waiting for the first case to begin of Robert Gallo Jr., charged with allegedly conspiring to harm or kill a police officer. Sitting in the wings of the old train station now resurrected into the City’s courtroom sat only what I would assume to be a close loved one of the defendant. She was weeping constantly and struggled to keep her pain silent, not wanting to disturb the court. When the judge ruled that Gallo was going to be held on a million dollars bail she lost her strained composure for a moment and cried out in a loud gasp of whimpering air.
I’m not sure why I notice such things and although I sometimes wish I didn’t, I’m grateful I do.
This got me to thinking about those not commonly thought of as victims, the defendants family and friends. In most cases the sympathy for the victim and their families seems to block out all else. The children of criminals still need to be fed and when the crime leads one into the correction system it is a daunting task for those now abandoned to adapt.
You stand alone, ashamed, embarrassed, financially insecure and most tragically without much sympathy. People do come from trouble families and often the ties of their criminal corruption are rooted in a bad domestic life, that reason does not justify turning a callous eye toward the notion of considering those associated with a defendant as being victims.