The jury trooped in the court room. Nobody could guess what was the verdict. Their faces weren’t showing any emotions. Jack was worried. He had tried his best to get his client off the charge of kidnapping, but wasn’t sure if his arguments impressed the jury or the presiding judge.
Have you reached a verdict, asked the judge. Yes, my lord, replied the jury foreman. He stepped forward and handed a folded piece of paper to the bailiff. As the bailiff stepped up to the judge and handed the piece of paper to the judge, a hush fell on the courtroom.
Having read what was written on that paper, the judge handed it back to the bailiff. The foreman was asked to read the verdict aloud to the people in th courtroom.
Jack was biting his lips nervously, it was his first big case. It was true that as a court appointed attorney he wasn’t supposed to move heavens and earth for his client’s defense , but he had developed a sympathy for the poor lady. He knew in his heart that she was innocent of the charge leveled against her. It was a trumped up charge, made by the public prosecutor to absolve the local police of incompetence. Incompetence, which they had shown by letting the real culprits escape.
His thoughts were interrupted by the loud voice of the jury foreman. We the jury finds the accused, Linda Johnson……guilty of the crime of kidnapping and injuring Timothy Grey.
A heartbreaking sob broke from the accused. I didn’t do it she whimpered. The judge’s gravel struck loudly. Silence in the court. The sentencing will be announced on 17th of this month.
Jack tried to reassure Linda, don’t worry we will appeal against this conviction. There are many avenues for appeal. Don’t lose hope. But his words were falling on seeming deaf ears. Linda kept on crying and her words were all jumbled and hard to understand.
After about ten minutes she calmed down a bit and the lady cops had come to take her back to the prison. Can I have a few more minutes with my lawyer, she asked so pitifully that the cops agreed, and stepped a few feet back to allow some privacy between the client and her lawyer. I am glad that you have calmed down ,Linda. I want to discuss what we should do now. Please I don’t want you to appeal, said Linda. What! Jack couldn’t believe what she just said. I thought you were innocent, or are you? I am, but I was guilty of another crime which no one knew anything about and I have been under a great burden since then.
What crime did you commit? And if no one got to know about it, why do want to be punished for it now? This was getting very weird for Jack. He couldn’t understand what his client wanted. A fresh tear escaped Lind’s eye and rolled down her cheek. It was five years ago, she said, that I ran down a young girl playing on the street. I drove away and nobody connected me with the accident. But my guilt doesn’t let me be. I should have faced up to what I did. I should have payed for my mistakes then, but now I will. You know I didn’t kidnap or abused little Tim, but I want to atone for my previous crime. So no appeal. I will serve my time. Maybe I will find atonement.