Why I Quit My Day Job
Why did I quit a steady job with a steady paycheck and good benefits to go back into private practice? I’ve been the elected prosecuting attorney for Ste. Genevieve County for 20 years. I’ve enjoyed working with police, defense attorneys, courts, fellow prosecutors, victims, and witnesses. Not all the time but much more often than not. I made a decent pay (but earned every penny) and good benefits. So I probably will be asking myself this question for a while. But as of today, I am thrilled with the decision. Here are the reasons.
1. Karma. Asking the court to send people to prison eats at the soul and should eat at the soul. I’m not saying no one deserves prison. But it is not good Karma to forever be the one asking the court to send folks there. It’s not good Karma to judge other people so much.
2. The War on Drugs. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We’ve waged a war on drugs since the 1930s and drugs are winning. I don’t pretend to have an answer to the drug problem, but the current approach is insane. It’s like locking people up for diabetes. I no longer want to be a foot soldier in a war I don’t believe in.
3. Helping People. I know this is corny and sanctimonious, but I want to help people through tough times. Representing the State of Missouri is like representing a unicorn – no one can really say what the State or the unicorn wants. But with representing people going through custody battles, facing criminal charges, setting up businesses, or planning their futures, I’ll know who and what I’m fighting for.
4. Timing is Everything. In the last two years I lost Holly, my wife of 27 years to cancer. I am now once again a giddily happy newlywed with Susie. There is nothing like a death to remind one of how short life is and nothing like happiness to remind you how precious life is. This is the time for the jump. Plus I feel I have left my old office in capable hands.
So as we used to say when we leapt from the swing at the highest point in the arc: