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Friday, July 14, 2023

Microstory 1930: Rights of the Accused

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Junior Special Investigator: Leonard Miazga?
Leonard: Yes, that’s me. Do you work at the Office of Special Investigations?
Jr. Investigator: That’s not for you to know. All you need to know is that you are under arrest under special extenuating circumstances. Under the Alsten Act, according to Provision 83 of Special Investigations Code One, I hereby detain you for the defense of national security. You are not entitled to representation, and must comply with all demands, and answer all questions. All crimes committed prior to this moment, including those seemingly unrelated to the current accusations, as well as any crimes committed following this moment, shall be taken under consideration when considering judgment, punishment, or any other outcome of your circumstances. Do you understand everything I’ve informed you of today?
Leonard: Not really.
Jr. Investigator: Sir.
Leonard: What’s the Alsten Act?
Jr. Investigator: Sir, please.
Leonard: Please tell me that you recited those words verbatim, and that you didn’t try to regurgitate it using your own words.
Jr. Investigator: We are required to recite your status and rights in the eyes of federal law in order to detain you properly, using the exact same words as they are written and approved by the Office of the National Commander.
Leonard: So when I say that the words were repetitive, nonsensical, and just overall ridiculous, you won’t take personal offense?
Jr. Investigator: No, sir.
Leonard: Are you required to address me as sir?
Jr. Investigator: No.
Leonard: Then just call me Leonard, or Leo.
Jr. Investigator: Sir...Leo, I require you to state in no uncertain terms that you understand your rights as I have listed them for you.
Leonard: You mean the rights that have been stripped from me? Yeah, I guess so.
Jr. Investigator: [...]
Leonard: I mean, yes, I unequivocally understand them perfectly, fully, and perfectly.
Jr. Investigator: I’m going to have to place these handcuffs on you, but you may retrieve a coat, and drape it over your arms to remain inconspicuous.
Leonard: I don’t have a coat. It was summer on my world when I came here, and it’s summer now. I don’t exactly have a credit card to recreate my wardrobe. Besides, I’ve seen that before as a bystander, and let me tell ya, the coat trick ain’t foolin’ no one.
Jr. Investigator: Very well, sir—Leonard. I’ll leave the cuffs rather loose, as long as you promise not to make any attempt at escape.
Leonard: I promise to not try to escape. I’ll get this all sorted out at OSI.
Jr. Investigator: Uh...one more thing.
Leonard: Yes?
Jr. Investigator: Once we get into the car, you’re gonna have to wear a hood.

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