In this Episode, the narrator is recording in Cuyahoga County, here the majority of the judges are Irish followed by Italians, and Jews are not many in this county. In a courthouse a significant number of the accused a black, out of 34 judges, 32 are white, with only two black judges. Judge Daniel Gaul is sentencing someone, and he gets annoyed with the defendant, he uses some abusive words on him, calls the defendant pathetic, a bullshit artist, a criminal, and a liar. The artist gets in the exchange and reverts to the judge in a similar language; he calls the judge a liar and a cheater. Judge Haul accuses the artist of having a moral character flaw.
That was really a slightly weird court session, the narrator leaves the court feeling annoyed, about how the judge spoke to the accused, sensitive and fierce and confusingly close, as though these two men were engaged in an individual contention instead of a lawful one (Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls, n.d.). County judges in Ohio are a bit different, the judges have a lot of freedom in their sentences, and they do not reveal much about the punishments they give. They seem to have a lot of power in their roles.
The episode happens in Judge Gaul’s courtroom. The narrator preferred this room because it can be exhilarating there sometimes. In this room, the judges swing their power to get what they want. The vast majority of what’s going on in Judge Gaul’s court, in any court, are pleas and sentencing. Trials are the exemption. The first case involves a young boy called Terell who was caught driving a stolen vehicle. Terell is in court for sentencing after he pled guilty a month ago. Terell’s family are present, Judge Haul greets Terell’s family then turns to lecture him, and questions him pertaining to his family, more especially about his father. Terell’s attorney is standing close to him. Apparently, Terell has a son though he’s not married yet.
Judge Gaul records the awful choices that drove Terrell to this situation. He’s not wrong; a lot of appalling decisions was in play. At last, Judge Gaul sentences Terrell to four years of probation. Not a horrible one for him, considering Judge Gaul could have given him just about three years in jail. The judge has threatened to punish Terell for having a child; however, Judge Haul has no power to do this (Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls, n.d.). This seems to be Judge Haul’s way of doing things before the day ends, he does the same to two other individuals. However, these seem to be just mere threats.
Judge Haul doesn’t seem as harsh as one projects, provided you don’t annoy him. Back in his office, Judge Gaul has gifts from Ireland—a great deal of the judges have Ireland stuff in their chambers. He’s additionally got one of those putter things. Judge Haul is well known as a TV judge, controversially entertaining; he has been a judge since 1992; he, however, has been accused of being a racist. Judge Gaul prefers lengthy probation, he probably has put the highest number of individuals on probation, and then he keeps an eye on them. Probation involves a lot of the judge watching the accused and controlling them; that’s why most judges prefer sentencing defendants to jail terms instead of probation.
Vivian had a violation of her probation and is before Judge Gaul again, a while ago, she was guilty of drugs possession felony. Judge Gaul had given her an ILC, Intervention In Lieu of Conviction, the judge takes time to advise her. Vivian’s judge recommends that Vivian should be transferred to a drugs court (Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls, n.d.). The drug court is different, less judging and more affection; the accused are not asked too many questions either. Judge Gaul, however, opposes the recommendation, he feels that the drug court won’t do anything different.
Towards the end of the episode, we see Judge Russo opposite the decision of Judge Gaul; he doesn’t agree on how he handled Carlton’s case, Judge Gaul has been sanctioned before in 2010 where he was suspended for six months. As long as voters keep voting him in, he is going to remain in, for a long time, the same judges have been voted for, the same Irish and Italian names on the ballot, most voters vote and refrain from getting involved in any court proceedings.
Episode 02: You’ve Got Some Gauls. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://serialpodcast.org/season-three/2/youve-got-some-gauls