Graduation

The last time I saw Marcos F.,  he threatened to kill me with his bare hands.    At the time, it seemed like an empty threat because he was wearing handcuffs and on his way from a Brooklyn courtroom to serve a 10 year prison sentence.   I was a prosecutor at the time and had just convicted him of Robbery.  His third violent felony in 6 years.   I confess to feeling bad for the guy.  His most recent robbery consisted of hitting his girlfriend with a stapler while forcibly removing the engagement ring he had given her the day before.   Apparently, she had invited Marcos’ stepfather to the engagement party and, while there was plenty of malt liquor, there were no other guests.   

Marcos caused no injury and he got the ring by redeeming Marlboro box-tops, but his first two felonies were far less, um, vaudevillian;  this was Marcos’ third strike. 

During the course of the trial, I offered Marcos a deal – plea to a misdemeanor and serve one year in prison.  He suggested that I self-procreate.   One week later, it took the jury two hours to hand Marcos his third conviction.   Once the jury was excused, Marcos demanded the same deal he had previously rejected.   When I turned him down, he promised vengeance. 

I mention this because Marcos was released from prison last month;  his term had been extended because he did not play nicely with his cell-mates.  I kept track of him over the years – – not because I take his threat seriously but because I never forgot the look on his face during his sentencing.   He turned to me and shrugged, as if to say, “Oh well. What did you expect from me?”  And he is right.  Marcos began his prison career when he was 14.  He is now 35 and has a teenage son whom, I presume, he has never met.  

It is sad.  Not because he got what he deserved, but because maybe he deserved a little better.

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About aweisbrot

Ari is a partner in the Litigation Department of an historic and renowned law firm located in New York. He has been featured on CBS Radio’s Wall Street Journal Report, quoted in legal and non-legal periodicals, and has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer” in New Jersey and a "Top Ten Lawyer to Watch" in New York. Mr. Weisbrot is a true “client’s lawyer,” representing a diverse range of clients from among the largest retailers in the United States to smaller local businesses to religious and charitable organizations. Ari was appointed by Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to a three-year term of service on the Committee on Character. The Committee determines the fitness to practice law of each candidate for admission to the Bar of the State. Mr. Weisbrot also continues to serve on the District Ethics Committee (IIB - Bergen County), which operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Office of Attorney Ethics. Mr. Weisbrot has been awarded an 'AV' rating for his professionalism and the quality of his legal work from Martindale-Hubbell, the premier directory of legal professionals, and has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer. In addition, Mr. Weisbrot has written several articles on commercial litigation, which have been published in the New Jersey Law Journal and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. A Former New York City prosecutor, Mr. Weisbrot is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Urban Law Journal and a featured columnist in the Law School newspaper
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One Response to Graduation

  1. Arye Sachs says:

    Was Marcos going Pro-Se? If not – who is the idiot that represented him? He neglected to educate Marcos with the legal outcome if he loses the case and the danger a 3rd strike present. As a career criminal, understanding what is in stake – he would have taken the year offer and do it standing on one leg.

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