Police don't become friends with the men they arrest. But that's exactly what happened to Reggie Graham and Cory Long.
"I'm not going to return you to jail," said Davis. "I give you a time-served sentence with eight years of supervised release. We're going to be bound together for eight years. And while we've talked about this being extraordinary testimony, this is also an extraordinary sentence from me. In the time I've been here on the federal bench, which is four years, I've used the word 'probation' perhaps two other times.
"I hope you will continue to attempt to make an impact," he concluded. "There are many ways to pay a debt--with a jail sentence or through good works. And the latter is what I want from you."
Long rubbed at his eyes with his big hands, wiping away tears.
He was going home.
And the man in the room with the biggest smile was the Philadelphia cop who had sent him to jail.
Steve Volk (firstname.lastname@example.org) has written extensively about the impact of ownership changes at the Inquirer and Daily News.