A Sentencing, and a Mother’s Goodbye

Home Brooklyn Life A Sentencing, and a Mother’s Goodbye

Mwata Alcindor’s mom arrived in court at 10 a.m. even though her son was not scheduled to be sentenced until 11a.m.

She took a seat in the second to last row. Her face showed no emotion. Her eyes never strayed from the judge as she patiently sat through one trial, waiting for her son to appear.

Finally, at 11:30 a.m. the judge called for Alcindor. The police brought him into the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. This was the first time his mother moved — her shoulders tensed and she squeezed her hand.

The judge looked over Alcindor’s case file, and read off a list of crimes including burglary and abuse. Alcindor’s mom’s eyes turned red. The judge asked Alcindor if he had anything to say. He declined. With nothing more to say the judge sentenced him to four years in prison for attempted burglary in the first degree.

“Excuse me, your honor,” Alcindor’s attorney interrupted. “Can he have a moment to say a few words to his mother?”

“Just a moment,” the judge replied. Alcindor turned, showing his face for the first time. He was wearing a jean jacket similar to his mother’s and looked as though he knew that this moment was coming. His mom stood up from her seat, walked over to her son, and sat on the bench in front of him.

“There can be no physical contact,” the security guard said. Alcindor’s mother asked him what he was going to do and began to cry. He took one look into his mother’s eyes as she began to speak again, this time lecturing him. Alcindor’s head dropped. He tried to lift it up again to show his mother that he was listening but was unable to look her in the eye again. Her head shook as tears ran down her face.

Meanwhile, the judge carried on a conversation with his clerk, the security guards spoke about what they’d had for dinner, the stenographer moisturized her hands, and Alcindor’s lawyer sat impatiently.

“That’s it,” the judge said after a few moments, and a guard escorted Alcindor away. “See you later,” he said to his mom. “I love you baby,” she shouted back.

“I love you more,” Alcindor whispered as he walked through the exit of the courtroom, leaving his crying mother behind him.


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