As I sat in court today, a young man came up for sentencing. I hate watching these sentencings, because they’re sad affairs all around. The young man, I say young man because he couldn’t have been more than 20, was pleading guilty to some serious offense. I don’t know what it is that he is alleged to have done, but there he was.
As the judge went through the canvass, taking special care to make sure he understood the parameters of the plea bargain (it was a right to argue), it struck me that this young fellow was going to see nothing but the inside of a prison for the next 15 years. 15 years just gone, finished, written in stone. I can’t imagine being in his position (nor do I ever want to be), knowing that one act you committed, one moment of weakness, has resulted in your being banished out of sight and out of mind for the next 15 years. The world will move on by and you’ll be left there, stuck in a vacuum. The things you will not see, the air that you will not breathe, the freedom that you have squandered away. Is there regret? Is there pain? Is there sadness? It broke my heart.
Sure enough, as he walked away, a tear rolled down his cheek.
It’s just sad.