Judges are supposed to be pinnacles of unbiased decisions on the reading of laws and the constitution. Laws are intended to uphold a certain quality of moral righteousness. This is why, when we vote for judges, we generally expect them to have proper morals.
This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes they’re child abusers, sometimes they’ve accepted bribes to imprison innocent children, sometimes they sext married women pictures of their shirtless bodies (although to be fair: If I look that good at 55, I’m never wearing a shirt, not even in court).
But sometimes they’re just plain assholes, or you might even call them…Dicks. This is one such case, where Judge Lanny Moriarty sent an 11th grader named Dia–
Wait a minute…Moriarty? Who the hell elected the villain from the Sherlock Holmes series of books to be a judge?
Err, sorry, where was I? Oh right, Dr. Moriarty sentenced 17-year-old Diane Tran, an honor student, to 1 day in jail and a $100 fine for truancy.
In case you don’t know what truancy is, you’ll find it’s a rather silly and poorly drawn-up set of laws that make going to school mandatory under punishment of fines and jail time.
For instance, in my home area if you were absent for more than 10 days in a row (i.e. two school weeks) you would be charged with truancy, which was an automatic $300 fine. I also came from a pretty poor area, so let’s look at what that situation creates:
I drop out of school unofficially (in order to officially drop out you have to be 17, or be 16 with parental consent) and 10 days later you fine me for $300. Now I have to get a full-time job to pay that off, which means I can’t go to school at all any more. So every two weeks I get fined for another $300.
Minimum wage at the time was $5.15 an hour, so a full-time worker at minimum wage made only $317 every two weeks, after taxes. So, if I dropped out at 16 without parental consent, that means that for the next year I have to live on $8.50 a week, working full-time to pay the stupid fines. At least until I get arrested and put in jail.
Which brings us back to Ms. Tran, who mind you is taking Advanced Placement and College-In-High School courses and is still on the Honor Roll, also works a full-time job at a Dry Cleaner’s and works part-time for a place to hold weddings at. She’s also homeless and lives with one of her employers.
She works so hard to pay for her older brother’s tuition at Texas A&M and to support her younger sister who lives with relatives nearby in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Moriarty admitted that he’s making an example of her, simply because she was late a few times to class and showed up after the first roll-call was taken. She goes to school, then goes to the Dry Cleaner’s and works a few hours, then goes to the wedding venue and works a few more, then goes home and does all her homework. She says she’s usually up until 2 in the morning doing homework, sometimes she doesn’t finish until 7am.
Yeah, she’s a real deviant. Put her in jail so her brother gets thrown out of college and her little sister starves to death. What the hell are we electing into office these days? Moriarty is just like his Sherlockian villain counterpart, a heartless bourgeoisie oligarch who treads over the poor and laughs all the way to the bank where he cashes in his ridiculously large paycheck and probably gets a handful of kickbacks, too.
So, Judge Lanny Moriarty…you are May’s Dick of the Month.