Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Microstory 1318: Self-Representation

Accommodating Judge: Mr. Self-Representing Defendant, I feel compelled to remind you that you did not finish law school, nor did you pass the bar exam. You probably know—though you may not—that you have the right to waive your opportunity at a closing argument.
Self-Representing Defendant: I understand, and I shall proceed as planned.
Accommodating Judge: If you choose to waive it, I will strongly encourage the prosecution to waive theirs as well.
Accommodating Prosecutor: We are prepared to waive it, Your Honor.
Self-Representing Defendant: I’m fine to go ahead.
Accommodating Judge: All right, then.
Self-Representing Defendant: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client—which is me, of course; I will be referring to myself as my client. My client has done no wrong here, and I believe the trial I conducted adequately demonstrated this fact. As you already know, though I came close, I am no lawyer. I dropped out of law school for personal reasons; not academic issues, but I do recognize what I am lacking. I chose to represent myself, because I’m confident that the evidence speaks for itself. Do not fault the prosecution for the conclusion it came to. They have every reason to believe that I am guilty, but that does not mean that I am. It is true that I knew the victim, and I will admit that I became a little obsessed with her. I wouldn’t lie to you, even if I were not under oath. But there is one bit of evidence I wish to reiterate now. Miss Stalking Victim’s house was broken into. Anyone could have done that; my client is but one in a billion. in eight billion, more like it. There is one thing that my client had that no one else did, and though the prosecution used this fact against me, I consider it contradictory when taking the break-in into account. I—my client had a key. I know I shouldn’t have made a secret copy, but I did, and the past cannot be changed. Now, why would I—dammit—my client need to shatter a window to get into Miss Victim’s house if he had a perfectly good way of getting in without causing a stir? And why is she not here today? It’s because she did not press charges. Even she isn’t convinced that my client is guilty. Whose word are you going to take? If not mine, then at least respect hers. I certainly trust her; I always have.
Accommodating Judge: Mr. Defendant...
Self-Representing Defendant: Apologies, Your Honor. My point is that my client is not a perfect man, but that does not, on its own, lends itself to such grotesque violence. Yes, I had access to the lab where they keep the acid, but it was locked up in a chemical cabinet to which I did not have access. My client missed her deeply, but that is not enough to prove his involvement. If we were in the real world, I might have sided with the prosecution. But we’re talking about a college campus, where security is lax, at best. You cannot just limit your suspect pool to a handful of people. It’s too easy to frame somebody.
Accommodating Judge: Careful, Defendant...
Self-Representing Defendant: Apologies, apologies. I will say nothing more about it, but I urge you, good people of the wonder why it is that the police only questioned one other person regarding the horrible incident. It’s always the jealous ex, they say. Well, I say that’s a dangerous sentiment. Everyone is an ex.

No comments :

Post a Comment