10 Things I learned from Judge Frank Caprio

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Kindness is life-changing. – When we are kind to others in our lives at work or on the street we don’t always know if our kindness made a difference. We can see that he has the opportunity to learn details of their lives and make a great impact with his kindness. Even though people sometimes create their own problems, he helps them to see their mistakes and learn.

good kind of fat comic
good kind of fat comic

Money is rarely the problem – or the answer. – The more of his courtroom you watch the more you understand that money has no relation to people’s problems. There are jobless people who come before the court and rich ones. Money doesn’t help or hurt them. Now you may say of course money is the problem and the answer. If I had more money I wouldn’t have problems. Not true. When you are loved, you always have security.

The fact is that many people live with their families and have no income. Worldwide it is common for parents and grandparents to live with their children. In the US we love the idea of independence so much that we don’t value those who love us. So we act in ways that don’t help ourselves or others.

The judge puts people on payment plans when they are low on money, or defers the need to pay until they have the ability to pay. Money is a convenient scapegoat, but never the real issue in life.

Tolerance is closely related to kindness. – People have come before Judge Caprio that many people might find a fault with. People who have obvious mental issues, transgendered, or whatever. He never bats an eye. He accepts and respects each person no matter how they present themself. People who are tolerant of others have been found to be the most kind as well. People who are intolerant of others tend to not be kind, both to others and themselves.

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Responsibility is a huge advantage even when you are in the wrong. – Being responsible is the fastest way for Judge Caprio to have mercy on you. He bends over backward when people are responsible. He really can’t be more forgiving than he is. At times he challenges my sense of kindness. In my mind sometimes I feel that he was too lenient but he has years of experience judging people. So I will defer to his greater experience.

Be aware of your constitutional rights. – He acts as a lawyer sometimes for the people before him when he is aware their constitutional rights aren’t being respected. He is always ready to suggest a trial if he feels the facts justify it. He gives each person the full protection of the law even when they don’t have counsel.

An attorney in traffic court is a huge advantage. – Every time that I have seen the public defender speak or another attorney things always go very well for their client. No matter what, in the future, I will have an attorney and I will be educated on so many things that I didn’t realize about the legal system.

The city is often wrong. You should challenge everything. – No this doesn’t go against what I said earlier about taking responsibility. However the city does make mistakes and we have seen incorrect summons, incorrect video, or poor quality and it didn’t allow the city to prove its case by “clear and compelling evidence.” The burden of proof is on the city and often it is not correct. Challenge everything.

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The city or prosecution often will make a deal if there are extenuating circumstances. Talk to the city before going to court. – Over and over we see the city forgive and make exceptions for compelling situations. They don’t know all the details of what has happened, and when they learn details they often move to dismiss tickets. This is fantastic PR for Providence, but more crucially it shows that the human element is present even in legal issues.

You can’t manipulate the judge. If you try, you will fail. – Some people lie or do or say things that don’t help their case. Dishonesty is never going to work with someone who hears tens of thousands of cases each year. Don’t bother you aren’t as smart as the judge.

How we treat each other matters. – Yes this is a continuation of my first point. Judge Caprio believes that we will be judged on how we treat others in our lives. He seems to be Christian and believes in god, so for him, the way he acts in his life is a direct reflection of his belief. I don’t care why he is a kind person, but that he has inspired millions and will continue to do so for all who watch Caught In Providence.