Judge Joshua Kanalis
Last week I sat in on the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. It was the first time I had ever been an audience member in a court. The experience was nothing what I expected. It was nothing like Judge Judy, Law and Order, or any popular/common image of a courtroom. How the judge, Joshua Kanalis, the district attorney, and lawyers carried out their businesses was very informal. The D.A. had his papers scattered all over the desks and the judge was constantly going back and forth from his desk to his private quarters. While from what I thought, most judges were strict and uncaring. However, Judge Kanalis was very reasonable and human when it came to dealing with the criminals that came before him. The judge and D.A. seemed to focus on helping out those who came to court and trying to find the best deal for them, rather than just coldly hashing out a sentence. Overall it was an insight experience that broke all of my preconceived notions of how a courtroom operated.