From Arizona

EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was written by one of the attorneys representing members of the Disney family in an Arizona guardianship dispute. Click here to read an article from The Arizona Republic about the court hearing referenced. We encourage you to also use The Arizona Republic link to access the article’s comments for additional insight from others appearing to have been in attendance or having familiarity with the case. Another background article on this case is posted here.

A Sad Courtroom in the USA

I sat in a courtroom in the USA
A judge demanded we appear that day;

I gathered my clients as ordered to do;
Why was he so mad; I had not a clue.

In all my years in and out of the courts
I couldn’t imagine a judge more out of sorts,
Not in contracts, nor criminal, or even in torts.

I watched in this courtroom in the USA
Where nothing made sense about this sad day.

The judge said we were guilty without hearing our side;
He said we conspired, and that even we lied.

He called us the culprits without asking why;
We begged him to listen, but he would not even try.

This sad day in a courtroom in the USA
My very first time on such an unjust day.

The judge called in the sheriffs to take my colleague away
My friend’s hands were shackled and he was held at bay.

I know now what happens when justice goes wild
Compared to other places I guess this seems mild.

But it was my very first time, and it just didn’t jive
It was like in a movie except it was live.

A judge called me names, and my friends as well;
Arrested a lawyer, for a secret he couldn’t tell.

I knew for the first time then and there on that day,
In a very sad courtroom in the USA,
If such a thing could happen to me and my friends,
That justice is precious and easily bends.

Never again will I say, it can’t ever happen in the USA;
It’s happened before, and much more extreme,
It will happen again just like a bad dream.

Every day I again walk into court,
I’ll remember this judge being so out of sort;

I’ll never assume again in a day
That courtrooms are just in the USA;

We make judges fair and do what is right;
By fighting each day with all of our might.

I can’t take it for granted in the USA,
That justice will conquer just cause I want it that way.

And so now I know sometimes bad things take place,
Without a reason and without even a trace.

My friend was let out of the hand-cuffs that day,
But the picture of what happened with me will stay
In that sad courtroom in the USA.

There are no books to read that could teach me this way
How justice is frail and often can stray.

No law school can teach you what it feels like to see
Injustice run rampant over all that is free;

After 30 years or more I finally know well
That justice must be rung like an old freedom bell.

So ring it again and don’t be afraid
Of judges who threaten your head to parade.

Call out to all who will listen to you
And tell them your tale, as if it’s all new.

The day you forget to tell the world your reports
Injustice will win out over impartial courts

Sandy Slaton
12/14/10

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Stories of Denial