In Magistrate Gene Marano’s courtroom today, handcuffed twentysomething inmate Jacob Nichols was cooling his heels while waiting a preliminary hearing on three charges. When Nichols’ case came up, Judge Marano asked if he was in the courtroom. Nichols said he was, but his attorney wasn’t. At which point, Marano pointed out to Nichols that the charges against him had been dismissed. The inmate couldn’t believe it. Nichols crossed himself and then asked: “Are you serious?” At which point, the judge assured the inmate that he was and that Nichols was free to go. That beats a Monopoly get outta jail free card any time.