In my job, I see a lot of horrible, awful things people do to each other. I've become (always kinda have been, actually) calloused and jaded enough to not be disturbed by most of it. A guy stabs his girlfriend, throws her in the trunk, then dumps her body in a field? No biggie. Parents routinely poke their daughter's butt with needles as punishment and/or for their sexual gratification? Eh. A guy dresses up like a cop, pulls women over, and rapes them? So what. These are all terrible things for people to do and devastating for the victims, but I don't have any personal feelings about the crimes.
And then there are those cases that don't just glide by. I'm working on one right now that has become personal. It's a case where the defendant sexually assaulted his 16-month-old daughter numerous times and took pictures that he sent to his co-defendant (a girl who was 17 at the time and gave him instructions on ways she wanted to see him assault the baby). He confessed to the cops, but wants his confession suppressed (non-lawyers: excluded from being used at trial because it was obtained improperly). This means I have had to listen to the hour-long police interview – including extremely graphic descriptions of the ways he violated his daughter – several times and look at the pictures of his handy work that I can never un-see. He's also tried to claim incompetence and insanity to escape real responsibility for the way he treated his child.
This man's actions make me angry. This man makes me angry. I don't know what it is about this case that gets to me. Maybe it's because the little girl is the same age as R. Maybe it's because he's trying to escape the life sentence coming his way in the most ridiculous ways possible. Maybe it's because I can't fathom someone doing these things to any child, especially his own. Or maybe it's because you can only deal with so many sick fucks before one of them worms his way under your skin. Whatever it is, I don't like it.
I put this case off as long as possible so I didn't have to look at the evidence any more, or rationally and judicially explain why the suppression outcome is the way it is. But today is the day I need to finish it. And it's making me rage-y. I'd like my cynicism back, please. It's easier to work with the world's scum when their vileness rolls right off your back.