There were twenty or more pre-trials or trials that day. The speed in which they were handled was surprisingly

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On Thursday November 17th, 2005 we attempted to go and see a trial at the Oakland County Circuit Court. An attorney friend advised us to go to the Macomb Circuit Court that Thursday, but due to a scheduling conflict we chose to go the Oakland County Court. We were also advised to go around 1:00 p.m. because the court would commence again after lunch. We arrived to the court at 12:45 and after passing through security we quickly went to the fifth floor courtrooms to find a trial. Upon reaching the fifth floor we found that on that particular Thursday there were several pre-trials being held instead of a single trial. These are the observations that we made in Courtroom 2B on that day.

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Each of the nine prisoners, seven male and two female, had on different colored Oakland County Jail issued uniforms and they were seated in the jury seats of the courtroom. The demographics of the incarcerated were five white males, two black males and two black females. Their age range was from a nineteen year-old female to a 52-year-old white male. At 1:30 exactly a pretrial finished and the lawyers in unison approached the jury box to talk to their respective clients.

There were twenty or more pre-trials or trials that day. The speed in which they were handled was surprisingly fast at times. One could tell that everyone involved in the court had went through these procedures many times before. The chaos as we saw it looked very routine for the people invested in the cases. The crime du jour seemed to be violation of probation. Of the cases we saw violation of probation was the charge in at least half. Other charges that day included possession of a controlled substance, oddly enough cocaine in all of these instances, failure to pay child support, and attempted armed robbery. Violation of probation was a result of a few defendants committing these other crimes. The attorney’s main focus seemed not to prove their clients innocence but to lessen the penalties through plea-bargaining. In many instances the attorney’s achieved their goal. In some due to the
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