December 5, 2008
By Kevin O'Brien, Sussex, WI

“I find the defendant not guilty!” Judge Gempeler exclaimed. It was the sun shining over the hill. I felt an urge of excitement overthrow my consciousness.
There were a total of five of us involved. Three gave in and let injustice succeed— I did not. The knocking on my door broke the silence of my house at quarter past six one Friday morning.
“Hello, I’m from the sheriff’s office,” the man explained to my sleepy-eyed mother. The police officer then handed me a citation for illegally passing a school bus a week prior. The $312 fine was $312 too much.
I went to my assigned court date, pleaded not guilty and the matter was set for pre-trial. At my pre-trial conference, the district attorney stood in the doorway to resolution. He said he would reduce the fine to $160.
My one word, two-lettered answer brought this illegal passing of a school bus to the highest authority in the Waukesha County court system. No legal help. No guardian looking over my shoulder. Nobody to back me up—well, not quite. My sister was with me during the incident and she would be the only witness to testify against the ruling.
The prosecution opened and accused me of said violation. In my defense, I called my trusty younger sister to the stand. “We were traveling home from school,” she began. “The bus had not yet turned its lights on.” I thanked her with an exchange of a smile from my table to the witness stand. Then I testified. I repeated the story just as my sister had told it. I let the judge examine my photos of the incident as well as the prosecutor.
“These photos are irrelevant.” The prosecutor then wanted to press a higher charge upon me. The Judge disagreed. With two witnesses against the bus driver’s accusation, I was a free man.
I never gave up. I do not give up. I will not give up. I push for what I believe in and this quality is what drives me to be who I am.

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This article has 1 comment.

dan3 said...
on Jan. 24 2009 at 5:14 pm
well-written and good explanation of perseverence. (check out my story by searching Darith).


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