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The Champion

December 2003 , Page 39 

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Charley’s angel

By Thomas G. Briody

Read more A Gideon Moment columns.

The client’s name was Charley. He was about my age, and about my size, but with fewer pounds on his frame. His face was scarred. Some of his teeth were broken. He’d lived in Providence all his life, lived on the street, lived hard.

I met Charley in the cellblock of a busy district court a few minutes before his probation violation/bail hearing. The state of Rhode Island had charged Charley with assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of marijuana, and possession of a pistol without a license. Two policeman had caught him hiding in an alley. He’d been seen stuffing a large leather jacket under a car. Inside the jacket was a pistol. Inside Charley’s pants was a bag of marijuana. A witness named “Scott” was brought to the scene, and quickly identified Charley as the man who threatened him with a gun.

Charley’s criminal history took up two typed pages. Drugs. Assault. Petty theft. Stolen car possession.

“I’ve done a lot of bad things,” he said. “But I never had a

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