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Driver in court for running red light has case dismissed when judge learns why he did it

The judge told the man he was there with him to share his sorrow and the pain of losing his child

Driver in court for running red light has case dismissed when judge learns why he did it
Cover Image Source: YouTube | @CaughtInProvidence

Judges often have a tough image, clad in black robes and delivering stern verdicts. However, 87-year-old former Justice Frank Caprio, dubbed the "world's nicest judge," breaks this mold. As an internet sensation, Caprio teaches the world about compassion through his show "Caught in Providence," where his empathetic courtroom interactions are broadcast. In one memorable instance, captured on YouTube, he was so touched by a driver’s story that he dismissed a substantial fine for running a red light.

Image Source: Judge Frank Caprio speaks onstage during the 2022 Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmys at Pasadena Convention Center on June 18, 2022, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Image Source: Judge Frank Caprio speaks onstage during the 2022 Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmys at Pasadena Convention Center on June 18, 2022, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

When Jean Lucardi stepped into the courtroom, he was somber. But instead of diving into the case, Judge Caprio began by asking about Jean’s beard. This lighthearted exchange made Jean laugh and eased the courtroom’s tension. Jean, a Lyft driver, explained that he believed the light was yellow when he entered the intersection and only learned about the violation from a mailed notice. That day had been anything but ordinary after receiving a distressing call from his wife.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | ekaterina bolovtsova
Representative Image Source: Pexels | ekaterina bolovtsova

Jean’s wife was pregnant and had already endured four miscarriages. When she called to say she was bleeding, Jean immediately shut down his app and rushed to be with her. In his haste, he accidentally ran the red light. The judge learned that the couple had subsequently lost their fifth baby, though Jean's wife had recovered. Empathizing deeply, Judge Caprio dismissed the case, saying, “We all share in your sorrow at this unfortunate event. With that, we wish you and your family good health.”

Judge Caprio showed more concern for Jean than the case itself. After dismissing the charges, he took extra time to talk with Jean about his wife and life. “It’s a tough situation,” Jean shared. “She lost five kids. Five back-to-back is really tough. I put her in control so that she could heal herself. It is tough.” As Jean supported his wife through her healing, the judge offered compassion to help Jean heal his own heart.



 

Speaking about what inspires him to exude so much kindness and compassion, Judge Caprio once told the Seattle Times, “I think I should take into consideration whether somebody is sick and whether their mother died and whether they have kids who are starving,” declaring adorably, “I don’t wear a badge under my robe. I wear a heart under my robe.” 

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