Five Years or Life, Your Pick

Get married, and this judge might go easy

Nowhere in the world will you find more dedicated fathers than in a courtroom on sentencing day. Give me a break, Your Honor; my family needs me. Please have mercy, Your Honor; I've got a little one on the way. Everyone is Dad of the Year on Judgment Day.

On Sept. 14 in Williamsburg-James City Circuit Court in Virginia, Judge Samuel Powell finally got tired of sitting atop his perch and nodding like a magpie. Alfred Gabbin, 20, stood before him looking at five years for possession of drugs, and he wondered if Powell might go easy. His girlfriend was due...

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