In an upcoming post (and in Arizona Attorney Magazine), I’ll write about today’s debate on criminal sentencing reform, hosted at the ASU College of Law.

But on Valentine’s Day, I had to make note of one holiday moment that occurred before the debate began.

As Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery strode up to the dais, he said with a smile, “Don’t start my time!” And then he reached beneath the podium to retrieve a bouquet of roses.

“My wife is rarely able to come out to see me at work because she takes care of our young children,” he said, bounding up the classroom steps. “But she’s here today, so I wanted to wish her Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Here is a blurry shot of his surprised but pleased spouse.

The debate then got started, which was considerably less wrapped in loving ribbons. More on that later.