Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
"Does the defense have any final words before I pass judgement?"
Staring down at a pair of sweaty palms, the man clutched them into fists and brought them down upon the desk in a fit of anger. He had arrived at the greatest decision of his life. One path would take him to victory at the cost of selling his soul to the devil, while the other would follow the righteous path towards failure.
No time. The judge's gavel was already in the air, ready to come down and change lives forever.
"Please wait, Your Honour!"
The judge gave him a stern look. "Do you have something to add?"
"That's right, I have definitive evidence that Ms. Valerie is the killer."
A collection of gasps and mutters came from the crowd; all of which was completely ignored by the dedicated attorney. The only thing that mattered to him at the moment was the person he had to save, and the sin he would commit to do so. Reaching into the pile of evidence, the attorney pulled out a single bullet resting within a clear bag.
Catching a glimpse of the bronzed bullet encased in blood, the young woman sitting in the witness' bench cowered in fear.
"N-no...please...you can't do this..."
From across the room, one man pounded his right fist into his desk. "Damn it, is the path you're going to take?!"
"There are no options left."
The prosecutor hesitated - even he knew the great sin that would be committed within the sanctuary of law.
"Your Honour! I present to the court; the bullet that took the life of the victim. The ballistic markings on it definitely imply that it was fired from the murder weapon."
Once again, the prosecutor was silent; the judge however, was different.
"And the blood on the bullet?"
"Tests show that it's the victim's blood."
Passing a forced and pained stare at the witness, he pushed on. "And let's not forget who's fingerprints were on that gun."
"But we already established that Ms. Valerie gripped the gun before the murder occurred. We would have found the victim's fingerprints on the handle as well if your argument was true."
The prosecutor was in worse shape, but for the sake of another, he would give up everything he had.
"Your Honour, the prosecution would like to summarize exactly what had happened during the murder."
"Go on, then."
With Ms. Valerie almost in tears, the prosecutor began to speak.
"On the 5th of June at 12:45 A.M., Ms. Valerie was preparing to return home from the office. About 2 minutes from then, the victim entered the office with a fully loaded 9mm pistol in his hand. The victim then pulled off a shot on the witness, who managed to avoid death after a shot to the stomach. Coughing her own blood onto the crime scene, Ms. Valerie fought back. Isn't that correct?"
The defense attorney could feel the prosecutor's chilling gaze. "That's right. It was determined earlier that the defendant was in the same office, several feet away from the struggle."
"The overturned desk that the defendant hid behind and the lack of fingerprints near the scene proved that he wasn't near the fight, didn't it?"
"That's absolutely correct, Your Honour. However, the prosecution also clearly stated that my client was guilty because he was attempting to frame the witness for the crime."
The judge frowned. "And this new evidence of yours will prove otherwise?"
...And that's when time froze. All eyes were fixated on Ms. Valerie, who had become pale and was now gasping for breath.
"Your Honour! The witness is clearly in a shocked state; the prosecution requests a 10 minute recess!"
Under regular circumstances, it would have been denied. However, this witness was a special case.
In the waiting room, the defense attorney's phone rang.
"Hello?! Is this M? You...haven't hurt her, have you?"
"Absolutely not. As long as you keep your word, I shall keep mine as well. Now, I believe you have an acquittal to win, don't you?" and the phone beeped off.
Sporting the laugh of the devil, the defendant appeared to be on top of the world. "Seems like you have no choice, Mr. Lawyer. M doesn't appreciate failure, you see. Should I end up losing this case, your pretty little daughter will never see another sunrise again."
"T-this bastard...I swear to God that I'll kill him."
But he couldn't...he just couldn't. The only ones who could help him now were God himself, and that prosecutor.
"Good luck, Mr. Lawyer. It looks like they're calling us back into the courtroom." And with that, they returned.
The judge glanced at the witness, who appeared to be looking slightly better. "Ms. Valerie, if you were to testify, you might be able to save yourself before it's too late."
With a fearfully shaky voice, she replied: "I...I plead the fifth."
There was no choice but to move forward. Pleading the fifth would only mean that Ms. Valerie would refuse testimony that could end up incriminating herself.
"Allow me, then. There were three bullets fired that night; one that hit the metal safe in Ms. Valerie's vicinity, and yet another that passed through the victim's heart..."
"...W-wait! The other bullet was covered in the victim's blood too, wasn't it? Since that first bullet wasn't fired from the same gun, you can't prove it was me!"
"Ms. Valerie, you don't seem to understand. The bullet that you speak of was in a damaged state; slightly caved in from the impact against the safe. This bullet however..."
"...is perfectly stable, correct?" The prosecutor grimly laid the facts out. Both sides of the courtroom were at a standstill. It appeared as if the evidence was enough for the judge.
"I would like to hear the defense's final opinions on the matter, and if Ms. Valerie refuses to testify, then I shall pass down my verdict."
No time left...an innocent person would be sentenced to death, and in exchange, the life of a younger person would be spared. How could this be considered a fair trade? Is this truly how it would end? There had to be a way out, anything...
"STOP! Wait one moment, Your Honour!" The bailiff burst in through the door in a frantic state.
"Bailiff, we are in the middle of a trial."
"I apologize, Your Honour, but I received a call from Detective Ren. In a desperate attempt to escape the assault on the kidnapper's hideaway, a little girl was found - abandoned."
Words of pure bliss or of a crushing defeat...he had to make sure.
"Bailiff, is she alive?"
He smiled. "Aside from a few rope burns from her bindings, she's fine."
The prosecutor and the defense attorney let out enormous sighs of relief. However, their joyous moment would have to wait.
Their heads turned towards the defendant, who was now shivering in fear. "Your Honour, the defense has a confession to make. The defendant's fingerprints were found on both bullets."
The judge was shocked. "You withheld this vital information from the court? You shall be held in contempt of court for this."
The prosecutor slammed his hand onto the desk. "Your Honour, the defense is not at fault; the girl that had been kidnapped was his one and only daughter."
The defense attorney felt his heart pound. Staring in compassion of his opponent and saviour, he had learned the true face of a prosecutor. The judge seemed to fully understand the situation as well.
"Very well, but in a court of law, this act is still unforgivable. Rest assured that the prosecution will also be punished for this. As for the defendant..."
"W-wait!" he pleaded, desperately looking at the defense attorney's eyes. "Y-You're my attorney! It's your job to get me off the hook! You can't do this!"
"Don't you dare tell me how to do my job, you...inexcusable criminal. My job is to determine the truth; if you are truly innocent, the courtroom will reward you your freedom."
The judge nodded. "On charges of first-degree murder, fraud and tampering with evidence, this court finds the defendant guilty. Court is dismissed." And with that, a screaming defendant was dragged out of the courtroom.
In the waiting room, final words were to be exchanged. Standing side by side, the prosecutor and defense attorney faced Ms. Valerie.
"Ms. Valerie...words cannot express how sorry we for what we put you through. Your innocence was clear...but we used you."
A single tear ran down her cheek, and she hugged the two men. "Mr. Attorney, I know exactly what happened. I'm glad your daughter is safe. Thank you." Once she uttered those words, she left the building.
"Mr. Valerie, thank you for your help."
"...Do you still hate prosecutors?"
"No. Not anymore."
Staring off into the distance where the 12 year old witness had run to, Prosecutor Valerie proudly watched his daughter lovingly staring at the courtyard flowers.
Last edited by Hiroi Sekai; 2011-05-07 at 13:05.