Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Visit to the Courtroom of Judge Robert (Bob) M. Schwartz

With all of the press around how Judge Schwartz handles his courtroom as of late, I thought today would be a perfect opportunity to drop by and checkout how the judge is dealing with matters.

He appeared well capable of handling himself in the courtroom. His demeanor was sane but a little harsh at times. A few of the attorneys were pushing the edge a little bit but when is that anything new?

Judge Schwartz had a good understanding of the cases and had a busy courtroom. He was able to enumerate to a defendant all of the rights he was giving up in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office before he sentenced the young man to a long probation for drug charges.

Gone was the more relaxed atmosphere of his courtroom that he had earlier in the year replaced by a matter-of-fact no nonsense business attitude. The judge was clearly moving through his caseload on a faster bases since one or two of the attorneys ended up outside the courtroom when they should have been ready for the next case in line.

The new healthier, balanced, Judge Robert M. Schwartz will fit right in with all of the other criminal court judges who don’t have the time for being polite or any niceties in the courtroom and could careless about most of the stories they hear from defendants with long criminal histories.

Like so many other criminal courtrooms Judge Schwartz’s courtroom has falling into the same state of daily life which is nothing more then a boring routine of one case after another with criminals who have long histories of drug and alcohol abuse that leads defendants into a life of crime with little hope of redemption.

The social and criminal problems that come along with drug and alcohol abuse clearly will not be solved in a courtroom but can only be fixed with a solid economical plan that gets these defendants treatment long before they end up as hopeless hardened adult criminals who can only be locked away in overcrowded jails to protect the general public.

The likelihood of that happening anytime in the near future is slime to none since most legislators in Santa Fe are only looking at short-term measures that look hard on crime, and don’t provide long-term benefits that would reduce the jailhouse population of low income minority individuals who frequently abuse drugs and alcohol as a way of self medicating untreated physical, emotional, and mental problems.