Discussing Justice

I was there in the corner of the courtroom and I watched James as he sat in the dock, with a fearful look on his face, showing that he was clearly scared of where he was going to end up, perspiring under the pressure of the courtroom. A lawyer paced forwards and backwards in front of him, the heels of her shoes echoing around the room as she walked. "So Mr. Murdoch, you have no proof as to where you were on the night? " her tone was insistent. "I told you, I was out taking the dog for a walk," James replied nervously. "Yes, of course you were.

That is why no one saw you between eight and eleven, and your glove was left at the scene of the murder. How do you explain that Mr. Murdoch? " she was trying her hardest to put James under pressure. "I can't explain it," he stuttered in panic as he answered, "I wasn't even wearing gloves that night. It was a mild night. " "Well, your honour, I think you have seen all of the evidence. Mr Murdoch has no proof of where he was on the night of the murder, and not only that, but his glove was left at the scene of the murder. " the lawyer said. The judge looked up from his paper. He looked thoughtful.

He tilted his glasses downwards and took a deep breath in. "Very well," he breathed, "We will return for verdict and sentence at fourteen hundred hours. The court is adjourned. " As we waited to be called back in to the courtroom for the verdict, I caught a glimpse of James walking with his solicitor. He paused for a couple of seconds and looked directly at me. When he looked at me, he did not look at me with the usual smile that I saw. Instead, he looked at me with contempt. His solicitor whispered something to him, and he turned and began to walk away. I called out his name, but he just kept walking.

At two o'clock that afternoon, as promised, the court was called back into session. "All rise," was the call that was heard from the door to the side of the bench, and the judge once again emerged. I looked over to where James was seated. He was now sitting even more nervously than before, moving around in his seat and swallowing hard. The judge sat down and looked over to the jury. "What is the verdict you have come to? " he asked. A short man in his mid forties stepped up with a sheet of paper in his hand, "On the charge of the murder of Mrs T. Cameron, on the twenty-ninth of July 2000, the jury find Mr.

Murdoch guilty as charged. " The whole courtroom seemed to gasp as it was announced, although from the evidence given by the lawyers, it was inevitable that the verdict would be guilty. The judge took a moment to reflect on the decision. He made some notes and the room stayed silent, awaiting the sentence that was to be given to James. You could hear the clock ticking in the corner, and I was becoming more and more uneasy as I realised where it was that James was heading. The sound of the ticking seemed to get louder, until it was interrupted by the judge's voice.

"Under the circumstances, I think there is only one ruling that I can give, but first let me take a minute to say what I think of what Mr. Murdoch has done. I can not imagine why any man would feel the need to go out and kill. I do not see the reason why any man would want to take the life of another, especially in a case such as this, which appears to be without motive. But to take the life of a thirty-two year old mother, in front of her nine-year-old daughter, seems not to be the doings of a man, but rather the doings of a monster. " At these words I shuddered.

"For this reason, I have no choice but to sentence Mr Murdoch to life imprisonment. Case closed. Court is dismissed. " There was a mumbling around the courtroom, people discussing in disbelief that this man had been imprisoned for life. I looked over to James, exiting the courtroom one last time, my eyes filling up with tears. He glanced back at me, with nothing but anger on his face. My mouth went dry and I felt a lump in my throat, it was then, that I realised the full enormity of what I had done. I had sent James, my best friend, to prison in my place.