PLEASE HELP WITH GRAMMATICAL OR PUNCTUATION ERRORS!

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rbarcelo9
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:22 pm

PLEASE HELP WITH GRAMMATICAL OR PUNCTUATION ERRORS!

Postby rbarcelo9 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:07 pm

I think I'm pretty much ready to submit, just looking to make sure there aren't any terrible grammatical or punctuation errors (I tend to go coma crazy). Any help is appreciated, I'm willing to swap statements. Thanks!



The lobby had a distinct smell of aged wood; the floor was scuffed and looked dirty from the countless amount of steps that had been taken down this path. The bars were thick and slightly rusted and screeched when they slid open. I was at Sumter Correctional facility, a prison that housed murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and any and all other inmates that the justice system deemed unfit to be amongst us average citizens. My whole life I had been told that this is a place I'd never want to be, that the men behind these bars were to be isolated and feared. Somewhere inside sat our client, who in 1990 was convicted and sentenced to three life sentences for kidnapping, rape, and murder.
I nervously sat in a small room with my arms crossed around my case file, scared to make the slightest of movements. He sat across from me, looking at the ground. Nothing was said while both myself and the staff attorney got settled behind an old battered desk. His hands were shaking, and the sound of the metal cuffs that were tightly wrapped around his hands and feet provided some unsettling background noise. After a brief introduction the staff attorney explained to him that we were with the Innocence Project of Florida, and that we would be taking his case in efforts to seek his exoneration. Eyes that were full of pain and sorrow quickly widened and displayed hope and gratitude. Throughout our meeting, he graciously thanked us, showing a form of appreciation like I had never before seen or felt. Just as we were preparing to leave, he stared at the ground and began to cry. He raised his head and wiped his eyes dry, then looked at us and said, " this is the happiest moment of my life".
I left Sumter Correctional facility that day a different person. For the first time in my life I felt like I had found my calling. The possibility that not everyone behind prison bars was guilty was an idea I had never given much thought. However, after the meeting I was believed that our client was innocent, and I was determined to help him see his family again. I spent most of the next year working on this case, rummaging through case files, visiting his family, and reading anything and everything I could that was related to the homicide. This work, which is commonly looked at as the undesirable work of an attorney, was what I loved so much. No one understood why I spent hours tweaking one sentence in the motion I was writing, or weeks reading depositions. However, I needed no outside influence or motivation. That one key statement or piece of evidence that could set an innocent man free was right in front of me, and I was not going to stop until i found it.
My time at the Innocent Project of Florida has fueled this newly found passion and drive, and is the reason I am applying to law school. It has also opened my eyes to the numerous problems and injustices that take place throughout our court systems. While reviewing cases, I noticed that most of those who have been wrongfully convicted are either Black or Latino. As a fluent Spanish speaker and writer, I was often assigned cases in which the correspondence was in Spanish. Most of these Latino clients knew nothing of the American legal system, and had never even considered pursuing the countless avenues for appeals that exist. As the son of immigrants who did not speak English for the first ten years that they lived in this country, I empathized with these clients and wanted nothing more than to help them. This motivated me to re-apply to Florida State University and take Spanish classes in order to perfect my Spanish proficiency. With further developed Spanish skills I will be better prepared to provide assistance to the thousands of Latino inmates who are denied adequate representation due to their language barrier.
As a lawyer, I look to further pursue the Innocence Project's mission and continue to assist those who society and the rest of the world have given up on. The Innocence Project has given me the opportunity to meet a handful of exonerees, many of which have high spirits and maintain faith in the criminal justice system. When in need of encouragement, I think about what an exoneree once told me when I asked him how he could still trust a system that wrongfully incarcerated him for 24 years. He said, “I have faith because of people like you, students who are dedicated to the project; I know you guys are not going to let me down.”

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glitched
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:50 am

Re: PLEASE HELP WITH GRAMMATICAL OR PUNCTUATION ERRORS!

Postby glitched » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:05 pm

I liked it. Its solid. There was one grammatical mistake I spotted - the district attorney and I settled. Also if I could change one thing - I would take out the spanish part and just write that in your ds. It seems kind of forced into there.

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achilles
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Re: PLEASE HELP WITH GRAMMATICAL OR PUNCTUATION ERRORS!

Postby achilles » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:36 pm

"Nothing was said while both myself and the staff attorney got settled behind an old battered desk."

maybe, "Nothing was said while both the staff attorney and I got settled behind an old, battered desk."

After a brief introduction[,] the staff attorney explained to him that we were with the Innocence Project of Florida, and that we would be taking his case in efforts to seek his exoneration.

"He raised his head and wiped his eyes dry, then looked at us and said, "[delete the space] this is the happiest moment of my life"."

"The possibility that not everyone behind prison bars was guilty was an idea I had never given much thought."

Hm I think you should rephrase this sentence. It needs a "to" on the end, but that alone would not fix it. Or: I had never given much thought to the possibility...

"However, after the meeting I was believed that our client was innocent, and I was determined to help him see his family again."

Get rid of "was"

"That one key statement or piece of evidence that could set an innocent man free was right in front of me, and I was not going to stop until i found it."

i --> I

"My time at the Innocent Project of Florida has fueled this newly found passion and drive, and is the reason I am applying to law school."

You called it the "Innocence Project" earlier, and comma is unnecessary or add "it" before "is"

"Most of these Latino clients knew nothing of the American legal system, and had never even considered pursuing the countless avenues for appeals that exist."

Comma unnecessary. You should use one to separate two independent clauses

I liked it. And I agree that you could write a good DS if you expand on that part. Good luck!

rockspaperjesus
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP WITH GRAMMATICAL OR PUNCTUATION ERRORS!

Postby rockspaperjesus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:13 pm

I haven't had a chance to read it all but..

"the floor was scuffed and looked dirty from the countless amount of steps that had been taken down this path."

the floor was scuffed and dirty from the countless steps...

Does something really screech if it "slids" open?

"Nothing was said while both myself and the staff attorney got settled behind an old battered desk."

In silence, the staff attorney and I settled ourselves behind an old battered desk.

"and the sound of the metal cuffs that were tightly wrapped around his hands and feet provided some unsettling background noise."

the sound of the metal cuffs wrapped tightly around his hands and feet...

"However, after the meeting I was believed that our client was innocent"

I believed




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