25. “FOR THE STATE OF MARYLAND”

By |2021-01-19T23:54:26+00:00January 19th, 2021|Lloyd Johnson|

MONTGOMERY COUNTY  The atmosphere of the Montgomery County Courthouse in Rockville, Maryland, was unlike the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill and Howard University. It was slow-paced and relatively quiet and the courthouse was situated in the judicial plaza of a genteel, tree-filled suburban city.  The drive to work was an almost-pleasant commute against traffic.   But the superficial calm of the courthouse masked its pathos. Over the years, I came to regard this courthouse and others as “Palaces of Pain.”  I found that the pain and suffering of victims, defendants, families, and others to be silent but palpable throughout America’s courthouses. Lives are changed forever in court.  The law exists for one reason — to resolve disputes. What greater dispute could there be than whether a person will find freedom or imprisonment? I was about to become a part of that process in this suburban Palace of Pain.  Following orientation, we four soon-to-be assistant state’s attorneys (ASAs) — Alex Foster, Debbie Black, Terri Turner (who is Black), [...]