It's a typical plea agreement, guilty plea. Defendant is first time felony offender and is going to get probation. I'm standing at my table and defense counsel is standing at his next to his client. Before the formal entry of the plea agreement the defense attorney walks up to the judge's bench to hand him some papers.
Defendant walks quickly over to me. I turn toward him. Defense attorney turns back around toward him. Bailiff perks up.
And, the defendant starts effusing thanks to me. He just keeps saying it over and over. Then he starts telling me how he's changed and none of this stuff is ever going to happen again. Then back to thanking me. All I can think to say is "I try to be fair" and "You're welcome." Finally, after a few minutes of this the defense attorney comes back and escorts his client back to the defense table.
I get paranoid. That guy is waaaaaaay too thankful for the deal he got. All I gave him is the probation the sentencing guidelines recommend. What have I missed? Have I given the Pitcairn County Axe Murderer probation by accident? I grab the file and start rereading everything. Defendant only has two misdemeanors on the NCIC. No prior felonies. No violence associated with the offense. He wasn't even rude to the officers involved. Nothing. There's nothing which should have triggered such a reaction. I announce ready when the judge asks.
Things continued per SOP after that. I still don't know what caused such glee over a felony conviction. Defense attorney said he didn't understand it either. I guess there are some mysteries in the universe we aren't supposed to figure out.