How does Judge Belvin Perry define "justice?"
"Having the opportunity to be fully heard, and having, whether it is a judge or a jury, render a fair and unbiased decision based upon the facts as applied to the law, and not show favoritism to one side or the others," said Perry. "If that occurs, justice happens."
Over the past 25 years, Perry has seen a common trait among many of the criminal defendants who have appeared in his courtroom.
"One, lack of ability to read. Two, lack of educational opportunities and taking advantage of those educational opportunities. And three, lack of a strong family foundation," said Perry.
Despite his retirement just days away, stacks of papers still clutter Perry's desk on the 20th floor of the Orange County courthouse, and his walls are covered with photos of Perry posing with friends and dignitaries.
"I'll start packing when I know I don't have to do anything else," said Perry. Before next Friday, Perry still needs to draft a court order, preside over two bench trials, and show the ropes to his successor, Judge Frederick Lauten.
"I am very comfortable he will do an outstanding job," said Perry, who had designated Lauten as an acting chief judge years ago should Perry have been unable to serve.
Upon retirement, some observers speculate Perry may be hired by a local law firm. Others hope he will eventually star in his own TV show. And many believe he will remain involved in community organizations. Whatever those future plans may be, Perry is not commenting yet.
"We will see what the Good Lord has in store for me," said Perry.