My name is Laura Melvin, and I’m a retired Circuit Judge from Florida, thus the nickname GypsyJudge. I’m also an author, biker, Motorcycle Safety Foundation Riding Instructor, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, a retired attorney, and a grandmother. I set up this blog the summer of 2011 to report on a long distance bike ride I was making on my Honda Goldwing 1800. I called it 4 Corners 4 Kids, and rode 12,888 miles solo around the 4 geographic corners of the U.S. (San Ysidro, California; Blaine, Washington; Madawaska, Maine; and Key West, Florida) to raise awareness of and contributions for four special charities that focus on the needs of children.
Now, I’m expanding the blog so we can talk about my new book, Public Secrets and Justice, Journal of a Circuit Court Judge. I hope you’ll leave me a comment and share this blog and my website, www.LauraMelvin.net, with your friends.
What is Public Secrets and Justice? Through the lens of my private thoughts and feelings, I describe my view from the Bench. Many of the cases I depict involve children – children who were believed and then protected by the adults they trusted, and those who were not. Other cases involve ordinary and extraordinary people who came seeking justice. I candidly describes my professional struggles to do justice, including my decision to impose the death penalty twice. There are many interpretations of “justice,” and in the book I hope to challenge the certainty of your own definition.
Witnesses are often required to tell in public their darkest secrets, and this is particularly difficult for child victims. My stories include secrets – a few of my own as well as some I was privileged to hear from the Bench. With these stories, I shares the lessons I have learned of the immeasurable value of listening and believing. To provide a framework for these stories, I tells my own story as a female in the Deep South, raised in a conservative culture with strict expectations. I describe the turmoil and uncertainty that led to my decision to leave the Bench after ten years, and I take the reader on my extended solo RV trip around the country.
You may purchase autographed copies of Public Secrets and Justice from my website, www.LauraMelvin.net, where addition information about the book and author is also available. You may contact me through this blog or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. My book is also available on Kindle, through your local book store and http://www.quakerbooks.org/ and Amazon.com.