In hindsight, I should have planned the murders better.
Rest assured; I committed the foul deed for all the right reasons. Of course, all murderers have said the same thing when they got caught. Notice, I did not say I brought them to justice. Every now and then, a crime is so repulsive, so terrifying, that it transcended the law of man. Such is the reasoning for my ‘crimes.’
I stared out the window while my attorney, Lindsey White, filled me in on the paperwork. Who knew that law enforcement stayed bogged down in bureaucratic hell?
“Hey, I need you to pay attention. We need to figure out what kind of defense I will present to the jury. I am leaning toward a crime of passion, what do you think?” She seemed eager to hear my thoughts. Lindsey had recently graduated law school, and I represented her first foray into the big leagues. Her blondish-brown hair and pixie nose made her a delight to be around. Plus, she had a one-of-a-kind sense of humor. Sarcastic, sardonic, and brutally honest, she was the total package.
“That would explain one murder, possibly two, if I had killed my wife. That is not the case. I killed a father and son.”
“Yes, but you were filled with passionate rage for the murder of your wife. So, it is kind of the same thing.”
“Do you think the judge will go for it?”
“I don’t know. She might.”
“This is your first major case, Lindsey. I’d stick with the cookie-cutter formula and ride it out.”
Unbeknownst to my jailers, I had studied Criminal Justice in my pursuit of a higher education. ‘A well-honed mind is your greatest weapon,’ my father and mother used to say. A sparrow flittered around the barred in window. It studied the image of itself in the window. I had often been so engrossed in my pursuit of a better life, that I had forgotten to live the life I had. Now, I faced either life in prison or worse yet, death.
“You might better put me on the stand to be cross-examined.” Lindsey shook her head no.
“You will be crucified. Hank ‘Hangman’ Childers would pick you apart. Do not get me wrong, Jayce. You are intelligent and somewhat educated on the workings of the government and its judicial system. Still, you would get destroyed in mere seconds.”
“They nicknamed him The Hangman. Seriously?”
“Yes. He has a 94% conviction rate when it has been decided to pursue the death penalty.”
“And they decided to pursue it in my case?”
I felt queasy. Sweat formed on my forehead and the top of my scalp. Things suddenly became very dark for me. My heart pounded in my chest; my breathing became shallow. Hell, even my hands began to perspire.
“Lindsey, do you think you could get a meeting with Childers? We should seek a plea. I confessed my crime, AFTER I turned myself in.”
“I know. They decided that you premeditated the crime, carried out the deed, and then turned yourself in, all to circumvent the judicial process.”
“There is no way they could even hope to procure evidence to support such outlandish claims. You could go to court dressed as a clown and be taken more seriously than this insanity.”
“True, but The Hangman could be playing dumb, hoping that it would lull us into a trap. We need to be careful.”
We sat in silence for a while. She scribbled a few thoughts down on her legal pad. The yellow lined paper was mostly empty.
Lindsey began to draw a man hanging from the gallows.