In another episode, Harry confronts another older judge on his erratic behavior, and learns that the man is on the verge of cracking after a career of seemingly-futile decisions. Judge Drayton finally breaks down after this speech:
Judge Drayton: There was once this girl who came through my courtroom, carrying a baby. Beautiful girl, seventeen or eighteen. Long, dark hair, dark complexion... and a big black eye where her husband had hit her. She asked me to make him stop. I said, fine, I'll send him to jail. I gave him two years...then she changed her testimony, she said she was lying! She didn't want her husband to go to jail! He was a good provider, he brought home money so the family could eat! All she wanted, was for him to stop hitting her! And...and I couldn't make him stop! In twenty-five years, I couldn't make anybody stop!
In "The Former Harry Stone," word of Harry's criminal record gets out. With a sleazy reporter hounding him and questions spreading among the staff, Harry comes clean in court to help mediate the current case. His crime was stealing a car and crashing into a liquor store. He spent two nights in jail and a few weeks in a reformatory, but the incident deeply affected the rest of his life because of his "father's stare":
"Believe me, in 20 minutes, I spent my time in Hell. It was a courtroom like this, and he sat right there. You would've thought he could've blinked or... something. He could've reached out and slapped me, or yelled at me, or beat me, but... dammit, he just sat there and looked at me. And then when it was all over, all he said was, 'You disappointed me, Harold.' When a boy loves his father, you would rather get knocked across the head with a two-by-four than hear that kind of stuff. Anyway, not too long after that, he just... sort of... died. It always kind of bugged me, y'know? That he never found out. That... (tugs on his robe) that I hadn't made a habit out of stealing cars."