Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ret. Army Captain Court Filled With Duty and Loyalty

Former officer's courtroom is filled with a sense of duty, loyalty
Houston Chronicle
By Lisa Falkenberg
December 3, 2016
Davis, who struggled to cope back home in Houston after 22 years in the military, was the poster child for Carter's cause.

"That sense of loss was devastating for him," Carter told me in an interview in September. "For a time, he lived as an angry, miserable son of a bitch. But now, he is one of the most beautiful, inspiring individuals you'll ever meet."
First Sgt. Arthur Davis displays his uniform on Friday. Davis was out of the Marines for one year when he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded guilty and went to veterans court. Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Staff / © 2016 Houston Chronicle
State District Judge Marc Carter remembers sizing up the man before him in late 2009: a grim-faced, middle-aged guy with a U.S. Marine's bearing and politeness, but with eyes closed off to the world, skeptical of everyone and everything.

Carter, a retired Army captain, would explain to retired 1st Sgt. Arthur Davis that his court was different, that veterans got a fair shake here. That everything he might need - drug treatment, psychological therapy, housing assistance, employment assistance, a second chance - was available. He just had to want them.

Davis wasn't sold. He was new to the criminal justice system, and the only good thing he'd seen was another judge step down and thank him for his service - right after sentencing him to probation for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Carter knew Davis needed more than a handshake. He needed the program that the Republican judge had pioneered in Harris County for veterans facing criminal charges.
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