This post was originally published at talanhorne.com. You may find that it has better formatting on the other site.
Read Part 1 here.
Let me get this straight: you once had a relationship with that.
Mr. Devil’s Advocate: “‘Relationship’ would be a generous description. Philanthropic, even.”
I don’t see why you’re ashamed to admit it…unless you’re still smarting from how badly she dumped you.
Mr. DA: “I dumped her.”
Heh heh heh.
Mr. DA: “Seriously.”
Eh heh. Okay, sure. So why’d you cut and run? Was she too pretty? Or too smart, since she’s apparently a better lawyer than you are? You can tell me.
Mr. DA: *Grits teeth* “If you must know, I left her because she’s freaking insane. You have no idea how hard it was to get away from her.”
Aw, did you not have the spine to let her down hard? Did you need help breaking up with the nice lady? Sheesh, how hard can it be?
Mr. DA: “…”
Be honest with me.
Mr. DA: “I never told you how I lost my soul, did I?”
Not that I can remember. Why do you ask?
Mr. DA: “…”
Mr. Devil’s Advocate?
Justice Byclericalerror: “Order in the court!”
Right. We’re in the middle of something.
JB: “Miss Downarrow, the defense has already affirmed its readiness to proceed. But you have only received your assignment hours ago. Are you sure you are prepared to make the state’s case? Given the circumstances, a recess could easily be arr…”
Prosecutor Downarrow: “That won’t be necessary. My predecessor faithfully documented his research and left copious notes. And, truth be told, I’ve been following this case myself for quite some time.” *Gazes wistfully at Mr. DA.*
JB: “Is that a fact? Well, if neither side has any objections to proceeding, then you may present your opening statements.”
Opening Statement: The Prosecution
PD: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a confession to make.”
Mr. DA: *Squirms*
PD: “I have never prosecuted a case like this one, and I doubt anyone ever will again. When I was told that a murder had been committed, using explosives that had been set beforehand specifically for that purpose, and that the accused party had not only acknowledged his hand in the act, but documented the event where he set the deadly trap and his motive for detonating it, I let myself believe that this would be a quick trial.”
“I know of no precedent for a case where there has been so little room for doubt. In this trial, the prosecution will prove only that the defendant—” *Points* “—that man—has told the truth of the matter and committed the crime that he unreservedly claims to have done.”
“But despite the open-and-shut nature of this investigation, I have to admit I have one lingering question—the same question you should consider as all the arguments are presented: what is his excuse going to be? He wants to walk away from this courthouse a free man. How is he going to justify that, in light of all the facts of this case, and his own admission to them?”
“I’m sure the result will be illuminating, one way or another. As always, the state entrusts the verdict to you.”
*She returns to her seat, serene and unreadable.*
Opening Statement: The Defense
*I lean over* Tell me you have a better opening statement than that.
Mr. DA: “You put too much faith in sophistry. Evidence will win this trial.”
You actually believe that?
Mr. DA: “I’m an attorney. I always believe that the evidence supports my client.” *Rises* “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if I may have your attention…”
“During the course of this trial, you will naturally see some heated disagreements. But there is one area where we are compelled to agree with the prosecution’s position: this case is unlike any ever brought to trial. As such, we have to approach the facts with a willingness to consider all possibilities. The assumptions that often work in other trials will be of no…”
We’re walking into a trap.
No amount of evidence can make up for the ground we’ve already lost. It’s the way the legal system was designed: the defense always goes last.
Supposedly, this gives the defense the advantage. They always get the last word, but the first-mover advantage is far more powerful. The prosecutor asked the jury to figure out which excuse I’m going to give. So whatever arguments we make, and whatever evidence we present, it will only look like an excuse to them. And confirmation bias will do the rest.
Mr. DA: “…should consider the actions not only of the defendant, but of the supposed victim…”
That prosecutor means business. And she apparently has some power over my own attorney. Just how am I supposed to counter that? Mr. Devil’s Advocate is the only competent defense I can afford, and I doubt anyone else would argue for my innocence, considering that I am mostly guilty, anyway.
Just who is this woman? And what happened to the other prosecutor?
Mr. DA: “…that the defendant was acting in accordance with the common good, by defending himself and others from a danger, as is the right of every person.”
Want to do something after the trial? Maybe get a Jamba Juice and then go shopping for my tombstone?
Mr. DA: “Relax. We’ve still got this.”
And your crazy ex-girlfriend?
Mr. DA: “Will not be a problem. And it’s crazy ex-wife, by the way.”
JB: “Opening statements have concluded. Is the prosecution ready to call its first witness?”
PD: “We are, your honor.”
Who could they possibly call? Dr. Heliogabalus is dead. And Hint Guy’s injuries would only prove the defense’s argument of self-defense. The only other two people there were me (who is protected by the 5th amendment) and Mr. Devil’s Advocate (who is protected by attorney-client privilege).
The only one left, I guess, would be the arresting officers. Of course, they can only testify about the arrest itself. Or has she hired an expert witness to testify about the explosives used?
PD: “The prosecution calls Dexter, the talking chinchilla to the stand.”