Hamptons Justice

For those of you who enjoy reading about prison looking in rather than looking out, here’s a taste of the intellect and brilliance that a sentence can deliver — whether you’re guilty or, god forbid, innocent. Martin Shkreli recently commented upon Bankman-Fried’s upcoming date with destiny and, naturally, exaggerated the danger. The real danger, as Hercule Poirot liked to point out, was the loss of the “little gray cells.” Enjoy a clip from “The Gulag” where I no doubt lost many of them — even worse than the many nights at the Community Board trying to remember Roberts Rules of Order for the feebleminded.

“Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happened to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period so I don’t wanna kill you, I wanna help you.”

 — Pulp Fiction (1994

June 15th, 2015

Today was Harry’s release date. IF he had gotten Merit Board. And, IF he’d had Merit Board when it was originally scheduled. 

Everything worked to keep anyone from leaving.

Of course, Harry wasn’t leaving. He still had no idea when he’d be leaving. He hadn’t paid off anyone in the D.A.’s office like some of his so-called co-defendants had.

As far as Harry was concerned, that was going to be never. Nothing ever worked. No positive eventuality EVER came through. He was living in a human Roach Motel. Except some of the roaches seemed to be able to leave.

Like Gia.

Harry met him in the infirmary where he was seeing the doctor who would be giving Harry his latest round of bad news. His blood pressure, naturally, was up again. And, the suspicious neuropathy in his legs, according to the doctor, were passed off as due to “running too much.” Harry suspected that the Agent Orange seepage from Fort Drum and the effluent from the local mines were contaminating the water they drank as well. His friend already had brain cancer.

“Spsnnsspp, goin home,” he said.

“What?”Harry said. Gia’s wormy hairdo still annoyed him, like his attitude. He was sitting on one of the benches as that fat abusive slob cop, C.O. Plowman was leaning back and looking around for someone to shoot down.

“Spsnnsspp, home,” Gia said again and Harry still couldn’t make out what he was saying and did not want Plowman to have an excuse for writing a ticket.

“No,” he said to Gia.

“No?” he asked looking at Harry with a disapproving look. 

“What?” Harry said as he shook his head.

“Goin’ home.”

“No,” Harry said, “I’m just here to see the doctor.”

“I’m goin’ home, tomorra,” he said, annoyed that Harry didn’t understand him.

“Oh, that’s fucking beautiful,” Harry thought to himself. A fucking gun charge and this shithead, who could curdle ice cream in a freezer with his charm, was leaving. Tomorrow. He should be happy, right?

“Gotta go,” Harry said, not wanting to give Gia the courtesy of a benevolent gesture. He should drop dead — as a stand-up in the Catskills might have said.

“Y’know ya gotta wear ya greens and bring only what ya can carry. F’ya people’r pickin’ ya up they gotta be here by 6:20 tomorra or we gotta putya onna bus. Got it?” said  Plowman to Gia.

Fucking guy. Harry hated his ass at that moment. Both of them, in fact. Harry’s patience and positive attitude were beginning to disintegrate.

A hundred thousand spent in legal fees and Harry was no closer to going home and this shithead with a fucking gun charge was going to waltz out of here tomorrow morning. What was wrong with this picture?

Brad came up to him just before Harry went out jogging. The doctor had given him another pill to take. 

He’d gotten the lower number down on his blood pressure and was now working on the higher number. Maybe this way, he’d only have half a stroke in the part of his brain that had brilliantly decided which article to write exposing the corrupt politicians in the Hamptons. He had no clue as to what the neuropathy and numbness was about. Neither did the doctor — nor did he care.

“Can you answer a question for me? You work in the Law Library don’t you?”

Brad was a kid who was 22, about 5’7″ tall, slim, a face that looked like he was still in high school, with a pink complexion and rosy cheeks. He looked like a kid that didn’t even know how to curse. And, he looked afraid. He looked like he didn’t belong here. Because, he didn’t. Harry understood that because he didn’t belong here either. Harry was a journalist who was only guilty of stupidity and extreme naivete. Harry didn’t have the $67.5 million in stockholder cash to pay off the Feds as Angelo Mozillo of Countrywide had — and who was then suddenly only guilty of a CIVIL matter instead of the CRIMINAL matter that had been entertained before the fine was paid. Harry’s crime was in taking $82 million dollars that didn’t exist. 

“Maybe,” Harry said. “What’s the question?”

“I hadda 5-6 and I did 4 but before I finished they re-sentenced me to a 3 to 9.”

Harry had no idea what he was talking about. 

“You had a 5-6?”

“No, I’m sorry, I had a 6-5. Six months with 5 year probation. Then, after only 4 months they re-sentenced me to a 3 to 9.” 

“Really?” Harry said. “How the hell did that  happen?”

“I had a Public Defender. I should have gotten a 1 to 3, maybe, but my mother was sick and  we ran out of money.”

“What was the crime? Not having money?”

“Oh, well, I had an accident. Pretty bad one.” 

“How bad?”

“Bad. People got hurt. There was a lot of damage.” 

“Hurt? How bad?”


“Oh, I see. So, what’d you get charged with?”

“Well, I was legally drunk. I blew a point oh-eight. You know, like the legal limit?”

“I see. Well, who got hurt. Or, sorry, dead?”

“This friend of mine. She was with me in the front seat.”

 “What happened to her?”

“Well, I forgot to make a right turn and I went into a ravine and she kept going.”

Harry looked at him. “What do you mean ‘she kept going.'”

He had this look on his face like he’d put his hand in the cookie jar and it had gotten eaten by something lurking at the bottom of the jar.

“Well, she wasn’t wearing a seat belt and she just, you know, kept going. Through the windshield, y’know like, forward, into the ravine after the car stopped.”


“Then, there were a couple others in the car too. The girl behind me got pretty fucked up so they charged me with assault on her.”

“Assault? What did you do to her?”

“Well, when they want to make you responsible for another person’s physical damage they can charge you with assault. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt either.”

Harry understood that. Like, he himself hadn’t stolen any money but in order to make him responsible for money he didn’t steal the D.A. turned NOT Stealing money into Grand Larceny, a sleight of hand legal trick when they wanted to get you.

“So you got charged with vehicular homicide AND assault because of the crash because you were legally drunk?”

“Yeah, that’s  pretty much it.”

“Well, you could do a 440 motion and try to overturn the conviction. What’s the max you could’ve gotten for this?”

“Fifteen years for the death alone. They could even try to make it manslaughter and that’d be 15 to  25.”

“Look, I don’t think you should screw around with a 440 because if you got a new trial or got it overturned, they could come after you with the 15 to 25. That would NOT be good.”

“I know. Someone was tellin’ me that pedophiles, sex charges and DWIs, especially with a death, get no breaks in the courts.”

“You’re right. And, add arson to that.”

Cuba came and said hello to Brad. He pulled Harry aside. “He tell you about his charge?”

“Yeah,” Harry said.

“Talk ta him,” he smiled. “He wants ta learn aboud Real Estate.”

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