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 Vigilante Walks Away

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Doug Blair
Doug Blair

Posts : 644
Age : 68
Join date : 2013-02-03
Location : Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Vigilante Walks Away Empty
PostSubject: Vigilante Walks Away   Vigilante Walks Away EmptyWed Feb 20, 2013 2:03 am

Vigilante Walks Away

The foreman stood up respectfully and eyed Justice Pinkowski, “Yes Your Honour, we the members of the jury find the accused Edward Carruthers not guilty.”

The buzz in the courtroom was largely the shuffle of reporters. Brennan turned toward Inspector Marko at his side, placing a hand upon his shoulder. Marko’s body registered a silent chuckle. Packing up his files, he just wanted out of the place. The place where justice was done. Yeah, at one time.

Carruthers gave counsel a two-handed shake that turned into an awkward hug. Chernik gave him no eye contact, towering above, eyes already sizing up the reporters.

No friend or family could be seen anywhere in the rows, in support of the accused. His secretary was there, still seated, eyes down, registering no apparent pleasure. She had left the firm about four months after the arrest. Carruthers, she had observed, had already been convicted by his peers. Her apparent support of the alibi had almost made her persona non grata in the accounting firm. She was now working for some realtors.

Chernik took his young charge by the elbow and slowly headed for the doors. The press awkwardly scooping up brief cases and laptops to fall hurriedly into his train. Once outside the courtroom it looked as if counsel were not going to make a statement. In reality he was just making his way to the ground floor lobby for more impressive setting, lighting and acoustics.

Two of his private investigators made an effective road-block to his client. Carruthers appeared anxious to get out of the place. Chernik, with a determined look, unsmiling, addressed the crowd:

“Well friends, I guess you want to hear something. Of course my client and I are elated as justice has been done. The jury took only one hundred and fifty minutes to come to their decision. So often the process is much more painstaking.
But here the pain has all been experienced by Mr. Carruthers. Eleven months with the sword hanging over his head. Eleven months of humiliating, pointless lock-up. Apart from friends and family. Apart from his work. Savings totally depleted. Apartment relinquished and all personal effects stashed away in a rental locker.

He tells me that out of a workforce of fifty-five, only three people had the compassion, equity and generosity of heart to visit him in custody. It is very likely a chilly prospect for him to return to the firm. But he will not have much time or resources to take stock of his future work plans and to act.

Some gun –toting monster is still out there, perhaps still in this community, with a perverted sense of security. The authorities have given him this window. Your papers have had stories in the interval of at least three other killings. Was he at work again? Two of the episodes again involved horrendous disfigurement of the victims.

But this is how it goes. Investigators under regrettable budget constraints are pressured to bring in a body, to narrow the options, to show justice being done. This case was aggravated further by the theory of vigilante violence. The public is aware of more shop-keepers buying guns and striking back. More home-owners have installed complicated security systems because of the incidence of break-ins in their neighbourhoods. Many now have pistols, registered albeit, in the drawer of the bedside table. Entertainment programs abound, showing might as right, and giving the hero the chance to commit the unthinkable under the pretext of his own sense of justice. Recently I watched the movie Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler. Have you seen it? It blew me away. A grieving husband and father becomes himself a monster. I suspect that in a theatre today almost half of the audience would approve of the course of action.

These symptoms must be addressed. Regrettably the pressures have contributed to the loss and pain and embarrassment of my client. The prosecution had nothing but the circumstantial. In some American jurisdictions I might be advising Mr. Carruthers of avenues for pecuniary loss at the expense of the public purse. But not here. He will simply have to go about the process of reconstruction on his own.

I thank you for your interest and consideration throughout the entire process. And of course, today when my client has gotten some measure of satisfaction. That will be all.”

Ted Carruthers was not going to be man-handled for another moment by those beefy staffers of the lawyer. He put on his coat, looked toward Chernik, shook his head and bolted for the sidewalk. Only a couple of reporters tagged along for about three blocks. He refused any comment. Stuffed his hands in his pockets. Put his head down with a look of grim determination.

When feeling himself quite alone, he raised his head, looked up toward a half-obscured sun and made for the park. Deep breaths of fresh air were delicious. There was a day-care group of kids there, holding on to the yellow rope, giggling and scuffing their shoes. A cute young twenty-something supervisor took the lead. A middle-aged volunteer at the rear.

He remembered that there was a good used music and DVD shop about three blocks ahead. Hadn’t seen a good thriller in ages…

…but the way of the wicked seduceth them. (Proverbs 12: 26b)
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