He’s a good man, this was an accident………


A’s wife stood outside the court. The reporter asked “Is your husband a good man?”

She replied “Oh yes, he wouldn’t harm anything, he is such a good man, a good husband and father to us.”

 

=====================-========================

The courtroom filled with chatter which stopped when the judge entered.

After the morning formalities were over, the prosecutor faced A, the accused.

“Mr A, Were you aware of what you were doing on the night of the 28th October? “

“I don’t understand the question, I was conscious”

“Had you taken any alcohol, any drugs?”

“Well as usual we had a few beers before going out hunting.”

“Did anyone force you to drink?”

“No we always just have a few, gets us in the mood”

“How many did you have?”

“I don’t remember, but I wasn’t drunk.”

“So you were in full control of yourself and your actions?”

“Yes I was”

“Are you incapable of making decisions about what you do? You have never been declared incapable? You feel yourself capable?””

“Objection my lord” interrupted A’s lawyer.

“I think we will listen a while longer” came the reply.

“I repeat the question: Are you incapable of making decisions about what you do?”

“No, I am fully capable of making decisions. I am not an idiot”.

The prosecutor stopped and looked at the jury. Waiting for the reply to sink in.

=====================-========================

 

“You deliberately chose to go hunting that night?”

“Yes”

“And the reason you went hunting?”

“We wanted to take a few deer”

“By take do you mean kill”

“Yes, it’s hard to skin them if they are alive”

A little titter from his friends in the gallery.

 

The prosecutor stopped and looked at the jury. Waiting for the reply to sink in.

=====================-========================

 

“And the decision to hunt with a spotlight was yours?”

“Well we always do.”

“How did you decide to use a spotlight that night?”

“I didn’t have to decide, the others already had them on their guns, so I attached mine”

 

The prosecutor stopped and looked at the jury. Waiting for the reply to sink in.

=====================-========================

 

“When you saw something shining, you chose to shoot.”

“Well we were out hunting deer so I shot”

“You chose to aim the gun and pull the trigger”

“Well, you see if I didn’t I was scared one of the others may get there first.”

“So you didn’t take time to make a decision?”

“What decision could I have made?”

“Did you decide between shooting, or first finding out what you were shooting at?”

“I told you, there wasn’t time.”

“I don’t understand. Was your life in danger, so that there was no time to make the decision?”

“No I told you, if I hadn’t shot it, one of the others would have beaten me to it”.

“Did anyone force you to shoot”

“No they didn’t have to force me, I am faster and a far better shot than the others”

 

The prosecutor stopped and looked at the jury. Waiting for the reply to sink in.

=====================-========================

 

“Now let me recap. You are a competent man, capable of making your own decisions.  You went hunting of your own accord. You ingested alcohol, knowingly and without coercion. You carried a loaded firearm, and a spotlight to see what you were shooting. The point of the activity was to kill. When you saw something you shot at it to be the first to kill what was there.  Is this all true?”

“Yes if you have to put it like that”

“And you made the decision to shoot without ascertaining what you were shooting at?”

“I told you there was no time”

“Ah yes, no one forced you, you are quicker than the others, so you shot, deliberately knowing you were extremely likely to hit the living creature, whatever it was, without first finding out who you were shooting at.”

“Uh yes, people shouldn’t have been there”

The prosecutor stopped and looked at the jury. Waiting for the reply to sink in.

=====================-========================

 

“Do you or your friends own the land you were on?”

“No it was the public forest, outside of town.”

“Is it reserved for hunting?”

“No”

“Is it a popular hiking venue?”

“Yes my wife and I have been hiking there”

“So you shot this man’s wife, deliberately as you chose each action that led to you pulling the trigger, in a place you knew people were?”

 

A’s lawyer put his head in his hands.

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