Well it was another day spent in the Maricopa County Superior Court system.
I dunno, I guess I thought it would be something like Boston Legal, where the defendant would get to say things, lawyers would get to say things, Alan Shore would make an impassioned speech, and then we all smoke cigars with William Shatner.
It ain't like that.
The 7 or 8 defendants were shackled to their chairs, seated where the jury would normally be. As we walked into the courtroom, a long statement about Your Rights Under the Law was being spoken over a loudspeaker in Spanish. Lawyers (about one per defendant) were milling around. There was no judge at the bench yet. We were told by a voicemail recording to go to courtroom 813. Then just to be sure, we called the main number at the courthouse and was assured it was in courtroom 813.
There ain't no court 813. On the 8th floor, there were courts 801 through 805.
It actually was in Courtroom 1001.
Then the judge came in. We all dutifully came to our feet. Then it was down to business.
About 3/4 of the defendants spoke no English. The Spanish translator acted as go-between.
At one point, one of the Spanish-speaking defendants wailed, "But this is my 4th hearing! I've got rights!!"
To which the judge pithily replied, "yeah, good luck with that... NEXT!!!"
Truly, as nation, at times (no not always), we are fucked.