04 August 2005

One day on the River Line...

    I am no better and neither are you
    We are the same whatever we do
    You love me, you hate me, you loathe me, and then
    You can't figure out what bag I'm in
      Everyday People
      written by Sly Stone

Today I took the day off and the whole family went to the The Adventure Aquarium in Camden. To get there, parked in Bordentown and took the River Line. It's a nice ride, cheap, and convenient to the aquarium. We had a great day. They've added a lot to the aquarium (from what I understand - this was my first time). We like the sharks best. Then we headed back to Bordentown. The return trip back was much more interesting.

When we boarded, a nice gentlemen who also got on asked if we liked the aquarium. This was clearly his regular train home, and he told us the crowd gets on at Walter Rand station. Before we got there, he was joined by another man who got on at the next station. They talked a bit and you could see they ride together frequently. I picked up from their conversation that the second guy is a prosecutor, probably for Camden County. Then we got to Walter Rand and the man was right. Everyone got on.

It got interesting when a group of guys took the seats across the aisle from the prosecutor, and in front of us. They were having a long conversation about prison. Specifically, they were comparing and contrasting. I learned that Camden county is the worst, in their opinion. You don't want to be there. Mercer and Burlington are nicer. They'd been around. Apparently the only thing everyone talks about is women. There was also some doubt expressed as the true nature of their fellow inmates' convictions. (Their language was far more colorful.)

The good part was when they moved on from prisons and began critiquing county prosecutors. Again, Camden came out low on their list. Some things are universal, I guess. I could see the prosecutor across from them sitting Thinker-style while he worked on his laptop. He had his hand half-in front of his mouth, and I swear he was stifling a laugh. There was an interesting story of one guy's plea bargain session where he kept asking for a trial until he talked them down to "3, out in 1." In general, they had a low opinion of the prosecutors they faced.

Judges, however, faired better. In fact, they felt that, despite being a hard ass, one particular judge was fair. They were all in agreement on this. Judges, you see, are like gods. They have the power. The governor, too. Oh, and the mayor. Well, Doug Palmer, anyway.

There were other discussion topics. It was interesting to hear their take on the manslaughter conviction of wealthy CEO Jonathan Nyce for the killing of his wife. It was depressing to hear about they guy's girlfriend and kid, and the job he lost due to his felony conviction. There was also the story about shooting a neighbor's pit bull. It turns out that one bullet wasn't enough. After being shot in the chest, it kept coming because, "those dogs are tough."

So there you have it. A convicted felon telling a story about shooting a neighbor's dog while sitting next to a county prosecutor.

    And different strokes for different folks
    And so on and so on and scooby-dooby-dooby....


Sharon GR said...

I really wonder what the prosecutor was thinking. Was he googling their stories or checking some list of cases for the judges the guy mentioned to see what checked out? Or maybe he agreed on who was a hard-ass and who was fair.

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