Impressions, they can be good, they can be bad, they can be purposeful or detrimental. They can be gotten through research, through listening, through watching but most often the first, and lasting, impression is gotten at first interaction, without any prior knowledge of the subject making the impression. First impressions tend to be the one most folks remember the most, whether good or bad, and oftentimes there will be no other chance to change that first impression, or to improve upon it, thereby leaving the audience with perhaps a jaded impression of the subject that will remain beyond any other subsequent meetings. When the setting is a courtroom, the audience the judge, and the subjects leaving the impression, community supporters for the one being charged, then the first impression is most often the only one the judge may get, and may play a huge part in the decision about the future of the one on trial. This can be good or bad, purposeful or detrimental to the one whose’ future is at stake.
Court support is a great way to show support for someone going through a trial, and show the judge that there is support from the community for this person, but it can also be detrimental in the same ways when those showing up are unprepared to be in just such a setting. The courtroom is not a social gathering place where you are just hanging out with friends, and other supporters, where you just show up in your best cutoff shorts and ragged t-shirt and talk and smoke and carry on as if you have some right to do so. Being an activist means being loud and boisterous and outrageous sometimes, but never, ever in the courtroom or outside of it. There are courtroom support procedures that should be followed in order to create the best first impression possible to the judge in favor of the one being supported. These can be found at www.thsintl.org under Court Support Guidelines, which contains everything you need to know about being an asset rather than a detriment to the defendant from how to dress to how to behave around the jurors you may encounter in the courthouse and without. These guidelines have been developed through trial and error by those who have gone through their own trials and experienced the effect of those present for court support. There are also things to consider if you have interaction with the defendant prior to their trial which can potentially affect the outcome of their trial.
Court support can have a positive effect on the outcome of someone’s future, so please consider that it is someone’s life being decided, and that it could be your life on the line. By following these guidelines and presenting your best self in support of others you can be an effective part of a better outcome for the defendant, as well as leaving a positive impression on the judge who will most likely be deciding others’ fates in the future, maybe even your own.