Thursday, June 2, 2011

. . . back to coincidences.

Earlier in the week I posted about the concert I went to recently, featuring the band SKYROCKET and my new friend 'Rock Star' Johnny.

Well, a funny thing happened. I was standing there. . . no, wait, I was rocking out, when I heard a voice from behind me.

"Mr. Pryor? Mr. Pryor?"

I turned to see a young lady making her way towards me. I recognized her but for the life of me, I couldn't place her.

Now, you have to understand that when this happens to a prosecutor, the first thought tends to be, "Oh crap, was she/he a defendant who feels hard done by?"

So, my first thought was, "Oh crap, etc etc." But then I saw she was (a) smiling, and (b) not carrying a weapon.

Turns out the delightful young lady and her husband, right behind her, were related to the victim in my last murder case. They sat through the entire trial, hugged me afterwards, and thanked me at the time (killer convicted).

So there I was, at the concert of the son of a murder victim, being fed beers by the brother of a murder victim. And as grim as that sounds, we were all very happy to be together. I introduced Johnny to Monique and Xavier and it was like they were old friends.

Of course there's a cliche about good things coming out of bad but that's not what struck me at the time. It was the randomness of life that threw me into Johnny and Xavier, in the courtroom and that night. It was a joy to laugh and share a beer and music with them after the high stress of the cases we'd been involved in and it was a delight to be able to see them in these circumstances, to extend our brief relationship into the 'normal' world.

It's kind of a joke between myself and my wife that everywhere we go in Austin, to a street fair, the cinema, the mall, we run into someone I know from work. Is it coincidence? I always assume so but I'm wondering whether it's also a sign that the nasty undercurrent that runs beneath the still waters of our lives, that thing called crime, is more prevalent than we realize. When I was a civil attorney I wasn't always bumping into colleagues and professional acquaintances. But now I'm an ADA I am. So is that a measure of the level of crime in our community?

Could be. Or not. But I do know that seeing smile on the faces of those I've tried to serve in the courtroom and, yes, accepting the occasional brew from a grateful hand, remind me that coincidence or not, I am fortunate that my life has not been impacted by a crime committed against someone I love, and lucky, too, that I can do a little something to help bring a measure of peace to those who have suffered that kind of pain or loss.

Cool job I have.


  1. I'm a licensed attorney who is taking time off to raise my young children (only got one year of work in before the kids started). I have about 3 years or so left before I will return to work, but reading your posts is really making me consider becoming an ADA! Keep 'em coming!

  2. very thought provoking post, thanks!


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