Judgment Call

It’s Friday, so let’s play an easy game. Take a look at this mug shot and guess what this woman did to land herself in jail. Just study her picture for a minute or two and guess: What did she do? What kind of person does she look like? Don’t worry about being fair or having facts. Just take a guess.

Here goes:

mug shot cropped

Ready?

OK–here’s what she did: She broke down and sobbed in court after the judge awarded sole custody of her two younger children to their abusive father.

The judge’s “official” charge was criminal trespass. Robin Karr appeared at a court hearing she’d been ordered to attend, so the “reason” for her arrest is ludicrous. But her arrest only came after she dared to demonstrate emotion, and then it came swiftly. The female judge was offended, perhaps disgusted, by this mother’s display of grief at her no-doubt carefully calculated ruling.

In short–Robin Karr was arrested for crying.

 Links for the local news reporting of Robin’s arrest and related stories and documentation:

News Article About Robin’s First Attorney       WFAA News and Arrest Stories About Robin     About Judge Sue Pirtle      Court Appointed Social Worker Not Licensed

“I went into shock while in jail and lost all of my hair.  The trauma was all just so great,” she says. “Why was I arrested for criminal trespass when I was at a hearing I was ordered to attend? I’ve never wanted anyone to see the arrest photo before, but I don’t care at this point. I want people to see what a protective mother being arrested for crying over not being allowed to see her babies, even supervised, looks like.”

What did you see when you first viewed Robin’s mugshot? You wouldn’t be alone if you assumed she was there because she’d done something terrible. That’s most everyone’s assumption when a person is arrested–they assume the person is guilty, else they wouldn’t have been arrested in the first place, right? But these days, you can’t know that. It can be as capricious as the whim of a sadistic judge who seems hell-bent on adding more flames to someone’s living hell. An abusive spouse–or in this case, a judge–can have a woman arrested for practically anything.

In other words, those prison bars are going to clang shut behind you regardless of whether you actually did anything, or not. If someone wants to put you there, they can if they find clever means. This is how the “divorce gamesmanship” I write about is easily carried out through manipulation of laws that make it easier than ever before to get someone arrested. This is why I’ve strived to educate people how to spot when this could possibly happen, how to spot the game as it’s put into action. Because usually, the target of this game of deception is oblivious that such things can happen, and is caught unawares–and that, my friends, is the game.

This is why, after delivering the most brutal ruling a mother could ever hear, this judge got away with such cruelty as to even prevent Robin from going home to grieve in private with the support of her older son and her friends. Instead, this judge chose to make her a figure of spectacle and shame. She called for officers to handcuff her and take her to jail and isolate her as completely and cold-bloodedly as she possibly could on the worst day of this bereft mother’s life.

“The look on my face in my arrest photo and in my eyes is almost identical to the look on Matthew and Laura’s faces at that first supervised visit where Matthew had a black eye,” Robin says. (To see those pictures, click on this blog post here.)  “Anybody should be able to look at those photos and see the devastating harm done.  To think this is being done on purpose is just unthinkable, really.”

My buddy deception and credibility expert Eyes for Lies, aka Renee, posts a regular feature on her blog called Expression of the Day. She challenges her blog followers to guess what emotion the picture expresses. In this way she helps coach others to look beyond a smile or a smirk to see what is truly there. (She also analyzes cases in the news and explains how she senses if someone is lying or not. So if you’re looking for a delicious black hole of a website to drop into when you need a break, look no further.)

So now we know Robin’s back story, let’s take another look at her mug shot.

What do you see? I see confusion. Exhaustion. Defeat. Deep concern. Dark circles under weary eyes. But mostly, I see the very reason why she was arrested in the first place:

She is sad.

Here are pictures of the “real” Robin:

Robin expecting her second child, Matthew
Robin expecting her second child, Matthew
Robin, oldest son Christopher and newborn Matthew
Robin, oldest son Christopher and newborn Matthew
Robin kissing baby Laura at her first supervised visitation.
Robin kissing baby Laura at her first supervised visitation.
Robin Karr 1
Robin with Laura and Matthew at her last supervised visitation in 2004. She never saw them again.
Robin with Laura and Matthew at her last supervised visitation in 2004. She never saw them again.
Robin today-striving to keep strong every day.
Robin today-striving to keep strong every day.
Robin pregnant with Laura
Robin pregnant with Laura
Robin and Matthew, first Christmas
Robin and Matthew, first Christmas

To read more about her story:

Something Is Rotten in the State of Texas

A Bright Beam in a Dark Forest

Anatomy of a Broken Heart: A Screenplay

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