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Yesterday was plain awful.  Another miserable September 21.

It held all the promise of a magnificent day!  My first visit with John in the morning was the highlight.  He walked in tired and uncertain.  The transfer from prison to county jail had been a long process which left him with no sleep.  They did not assign him a dorm until 5:00 a.m. and by then it was time to get in the line for the bus that would take him to court.  When he got to the courthouse lock up they served him peanut butter and jelly, which he could not eat due to his peanut allergy.  Sleep-deprived and hungry, John was eager for good news.  “Please tell me something good,” John begged.  Glad to oblige, my friend, “You’re going home, John.  It’s over.  It’s a definite, you’re going home.”  John put both of his hands on the glass that separated us, as if to hug me.  I returned the hug.  We spent the next half hour just being happy, and planning our celebratory pizza dinner.  “There are four great pizza places near my grandmother’s–if they’re still there.  A Dominos, a Pizza Hut . . .”  I busted out laughing, amused by how little John required to be happy.  “Let me get the interns on it and see what they come up with.”  When I left he was happy.

The interns and I–with nothing left to do but wait until 2 o’clock–went to a have a celebratory lunch.  Just after the food arrived, we got the phone call: the assigned judge, the one who had studied the case and held several conferences with the attorneys, was sick and John’s case would have to be put over until Monday.    

We rushed back to lock up to deliver the bad news to John.

I knew it! “(John punched his hand twice and then buried his face in both hands for a moment.  When he looked at me, it was with incredible sadness.)   “This is going to kill my grandmother.

Judge Lomeli stood in.  He apologized to John and his family and then reassured us the matter would be resolved on Monday.

(Video: Click here to watch NBC Channel 4’s coverage of the delay.)