Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Microstory 1342: Opening Statements

Prosecutor: [Majority of opening statement cut for time.] ...so this is a simple case. The defendant threatened the victim in public. No, it wasn’t a threat of death, or even violence, but he promised to cause quote-great troubles for [him] in the coming days-end quote. That’s not a smoking gun, but it’s nothing either. He had access to the building, and the floor from which the victim ultimately fell. By the defendant’s own admission, the victim had ruined his life, which speaks to motive. Evidence will show that the defendant committed this crime. Footage and testimony of his behavior beforehand will prove that he intended to commit the crime, which means it was premeditated...which means it was murder. I urge you to look carefully at this evidence, and decide for yourselves. Thank you.
Murder Case Judge: Thank you, Madam Prosecutor. Mr. Defendant’s Attorney?
Defendant’s Attorney: Thank you, Your Honor. Before I go into my prepared statements, I would like to address a few things that the prosecutor said. Prosecutor called this a simple case. I believe I know what she means by that, but I hope you don’t take it to mean that the decision should come easy to you. All you have to go on are the facts, and the facts do not support the prosecution’s case. They are the ones who are actually making it complicated. They have drawn conclusions that are not true, only because their presumptions are technically possible. Possible and plausible, however, do not equal reality. We in the business call this circumstantial. As the prosecutor stated, my client made some hate- and anger-filled comments against the victim. I will not try to tell you what he meant by them, what his intentions were, or how he feels about them now. That will be his job when he takes the witness stand. Prosecutor is right that these remarks, coupled with the victim’s ultimate death soon thereafter, are suspicious. Evidence will show, however, that he was not the only one to say such things about the victim. The victim, may he rest in peace, was not the most belovèd person in the city. That’s okay, I’m not disparaging his memory. I don’t have a lot of fans myself. This is more about the suspect pool, which was egregiously small. My client’s name was chosen by the prosecution, and dragged through the mud, simply because he was the loudest. But that would be like blaming your neighbor’s dog for knocking down your tool shed ‘cause you can’t see the wind. My client had means, motive, and opportunity, but so did many others, and the prosecution will not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client is guilty. So... [Majority of opening statement cut for time.]

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