Defendants have to stand before judges every day. If they watch enough Judge Judy, they might even know what to expect. However, this defendant had his world flipped.
This particular judge, Christina Argyres, wanted to try a different tactic with first-time offender Isaiah Gay, 20. Gay was being brought up on charges for residential burglaries he committed along with friends when he was 18 years of age. According to KFOR-4 News, Isaiah stated as follows.
“I did the things I did all because I was impulsive… I was just being young and dumb.”
According to the court transcripts, the defendant mentioned that he became very impulsive when he was around the wrong crowd, and the decisions he made were his own — not something that was due to a bad upbringing. In the end, he chalked it up to “toying with his freedom,” since he had just turned 18. He told the judge that he could’ve stopped the decision at any time. He just didn’t.
This, apparently, was the wrong answer, and Judge Argyres wasn’t having it. She immediately began to give a harsh, real-life description of what she felt would happen to him.
“Do you know what would happen to a young, a dumb person in prison? Do you have any idea what would happen to you?”
To this, Isaiah responded that he’d probably just get beat up a lot, as mentioned in the transcript. However, the judge soon corrected him.
— Sonething News (@sonething_news) October 30, 2015
The source quotes her as follows.
“You would probably be raped every day, for one. And I hate to sound like that, you know, rude, but that’s exactly what would happen to you. You’re a young guy, and the trauma that that would cause you, you’d never get that out of your head.”
Then, the judge tells the defendant that — if he would go to prison — it wouldn’t only be him in that cell, symbolically-speaking. She mentioned that, since he has a family to support, they would all be in some form of a prison. If he goes to jail, then his mom also goes to jail (emotionally, mentally, etc.). At that point, the judge compared his burglary crimes to that of rape. Judge Argyres said that it wasn’t just a one-time thing for him, but that they were decisions he chose to make several times. The transcript quotes as follows.
“To me, the issue with residential burglary, again, it’s almost like rape, because it is such an invasion and such an intrusion on somebody’s life and their property.”
After noting some of the more positive traits about the defendant and his situation, she addressed the State, as follows.
“You know, State, with regards to, do we send him to prison? Again, he’s going to be somebody’s — I hate to use the word ‘b***h’, but that’s exactly what he is going to be, and I don’t want to destroy Mr. Gay’s life. He’s already going to be a convicted felon.”
According to Time, Isaiah Gay was facing up to 15 years in prison for his multiple crimes. However, instead, she allow him a five-year probation. After three years, he will be placed on unsupervised probation.
“You would probably be raped every day” in prison, judge tells young convict https://t.co/FzsPuezSS3
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 31, 2015
Yet, during the entire period — if he messes up — the 15-year prison sentence would still stand.
Right now, she feels that he could learn from this situation — especially with the realization that he wouldn’t just “be beaten up a lot,” but that something much worse would be in store for him. Yet, she does note that her reputation could be on the line with this decision.
In the transcript, the judge quotes as follows.
“I do believe in second chances. I hope the Pecks and everybody else believe in second chance, because, you know, my discretion is on the line now, and I hope everybody considers that. They’re never going to blame you; they’re always going to blame me…I’m willing to give you a chance. If you blow it, it’s on you, not me…”
Do you think this was an appropriate “scared straight” response from the judge? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.
[Image via State of New Mexico]