A woman walks into a room full of learned men. She takes her seat and the men follow suit. An officer of the court delivers a series of instructions to the room to kick off the proceedings. The woman takes a deep breath in preparation for what she knows will be one of the toughest cases she has ever had to preside over. She reviewed her docket the evening prior and it did not surprise her one bit that this case had been assigned to her.
She scanned the room as was her custom at the start of the day and the defendant chose that moment to lock eyes with her and she could see the contempt in his dark eyes. His reputation as one of the leaders of a local evangelical sect was well known throughout the community.
He was a large, fit man with a strong squared jaw and in another set of circumstances the judge could see how many women might find him attractive. However, knowing the facts of what led to today’s proceedings, it was difficult to haunt the uncomfortable chill working its way over the back of her neck looking into his eyes. Reminding herself that he was restrained and had two armed guards assigned to him did make her feel a little more at ease, but just a little.
To be continued…
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.