Happiness is a Choice

Happiness is a choice, not a condition This is generally true. I say “generally” because there are exceptional circumstances where one’s condition can interfere with the ability to choose happiness. These conditions include: severe depression, extreme pain, major illness, heavy addiction, extreme hunger, starvation. But for most people, happiness is a choice. While I was … Continue reading Happiness is a Choice

We Can Never Judge Another’s Heart

After a lifetime of experience as a judge, bishop, and father, I am convinced that we are never, ever, in a position to judge another’s heart. Prospective jurors often ask to be excused saying, “I cannot judge another person.”  I explain: “You are not being asked to judge whether the defendant is a good person … Continue reading We Can Never Judge Another’s Heart

An Eccentric Criminal’s Letter to Me: “Dear Satan and Your Whore”

“Dear Satan and Your Whore” One of my biggest challenges as a judge is to quickly differentiate between a person with an “attitude,” or a person who is eccentric, or a person who has mental health issues. This is not always easy. If the person “cops” an “attitude,” I am very fast and firm in putting … Continue reading An Eccentric Criminal’s Letter to Me: “Dear Satan and Your Whore”

Alma 50:23 – “There Never Was a Happier Time” – Happiness is a Choice

Scripture Gem “But behold there was never a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of [Captain] Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of judges.” The first time I read this verse, my heart was touched.  It … Continue reading Alma 50:23 – “There Never Was a Happier Time” – Happiness is a Choice

Police Reform (3/10): “Remove the Bad Apples”

The worst thing for the reputation of law enforcement is a dirty, corrupt, or violent officer. A very small percentage of police officers are "bad apples." But "one bad apple can spoil the bunch.” A “bad apple” in law enforcement undermines public support for the police and taints the reputations of good officers. I am … Continue reading Police Reform (3/10): “Remove the Bad Apples”

More Very “Eccentric” Criminals

The Traffic Trial with the Vow of Silence  Occasionally, I am “forced” to handle traffic court trials. I do not like these kinds of cases. The defendant’s frequently lie, slander the officer, and refuse to accept responsibility for their own conduct. I would much rather deal with “real” criminals, who are more generally more honest … Continue reading More Very “Eccentric” Criminals