New Justice A.A. Birch Building

Nashville Courts are set to move into the new Justice A.A. Birch Building next week. Apparently, security has been a big issue in both the old building and in the temporary Metro Center location:

Judges and other court staff repeatedly have complained about the lax security at the temporary MetroCenter Criminal Court building, where black-robed judges, inmates wearing orange jumpsuits and citizens wearing juror badges mingled in the same hallway.

And security conditions at the 69-year-old, historic courthouse, with prisoners, judges and citizens using the same elevators, weren’t much better…

Yeah, I found that out.

Several years ago, I was a witness to a violent crime (was in a public building, I just stumbled upon it). I was the only one who could identify the suspect, (I had to pick him out of a line-up, and everything), and, I ended up having to testify in court. It was weird, the suspect hired a private investigator who called me all the time trying to tell me I had the wrong person, etc.

Anyway, when we went to court, I was sequestered with somebody from a “witness protection” somethinganother, because they didn’t want me in the courtroom until it was time to point him out, and, they didn’t want him to have a good look at me. The whole thing sounds more dramatic than it actually was, but, at one point, I had to go the restroom, and, they wouldn’t let me out because the guy was right outside the door enjoying a Coke break during a recess as there was nowhere else for him to go.

After the hearing was over, it was late in the day, and we were leaving. They escorted me out, but, I’ll give you two guesses who I had to share en elevator with, and, the first one doesn’t count.

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