To Kill a Mocking Nerd.
A Short Fictional Story Written by Reality.
Mr. Quin was quite busy aiming at a huge computer monitor screen with a simulated sniper rifle. Without even blinking his eye he watched intently as the uniformed screen terrorist’s militia and the chasing police squad flashed across the screen at high speed in all directions while a sweaty, cussing, screaming Quin scored hit after hit during his consuetudinary daily, all day, International game’s compulsive, obsessive competition cravings.
The immediate family of this young 32 yrs. old rebel were used to the awkward quotidian explosive, unattractive behavior from this socially inept African American character wearing unstylish clothes when trying to communicate an unstructured message to anyone within sight or hearing. Yet, one thing was undeniable, Quin was naturally intelligent as shown when he slavishly devoted to the intellectual pursuit of mastering all of the available computerized gear to shoot down more ‘terrorist militia’ than anyone else engaged in the sniper simulated competition across the world, a typical computer nerd. This was his unconventional nerdish way to mock what he perceived as an Anglo-Saxon oppressive society that kept him from developing and expressing his full creative potential, his black life ‘didn’t count shit’, as he used to complain.
How so, wondered Yogi, a retired medical malpractice lawyer and then visiting family friend who had to endure this weekly colorful spectacle with his girlfriend who happened to be Quin’s Mother in Law? At the urging of his lifetime partner, Quin was today determined to find a viable answer to that question and seek some professional help because it was getting late for him, he could not continue wasting his talents by shooting simulated terrorists on a TV screen when he could use those very same talents or their functional equivalent in earning a decent salary to sustain his white immediate family of three and thereby becoming integrated into the Central Floridian society along with his partner and Quin Jr., his 3 yrs. old mix breed son.
This seemingly difficult solution would also constitute a healthy conversation substitute for visiting Yogi who would otherwise be ignored while Quin, an Ohio native, performed his loud, crazy target shooting spectacle for his family audience. Why not try finding some solutions tonight?
Consequently, rambunctious Mr. Quin and a sober, laconic Dr. Yogi were thus isolated from the rest of the family and left alone in the small screened porch overlooking a beautifully manicured fenced yard, product of Quin’s detailed mowing activity when not distracted from his unpaid full time job as a virtual sniper defending our country from its many virtual Middle East enemies while in the very middle of a real time very confusing political race for the U.S. presidency by Mr. Donald Trump and Ms. Hillary Clinton, so help us God!. Quin sat down in a comfortable chair while Yogi, with some effort, sat comfortably in a rocking chair savoring a glass of Pinot Noir wine he had brought along for the visiting occasion. They exchanged pleasantries while toasting. Yogi was wondering what on earth Quin was drinking that looked and smelled like tea?
It did not take too long for Quin to spring up from his chair and start a litany delivery of complaints about systematic racial discrimination by everyone in both private and public institutions in Warren, Ohio who, at that time found itself in the middle of an economic chaos fueled by the crash of the local automotive industry. Quin was promptly but respectfully advised that unfortunately, while entertaining, his expletive, colorful narrative were just disorganized allegations that were going nowhere inside the legal system in the absence of documents, witnesses, etc., to sustain them, especially 20 years after they had happened!
“Quin, you’d better calm down a bit and let me first ask some of the questions I may need to start an investigation on the useful survival of pertinent facts. Remember there is a Statute of Limitations, for starters, that would be a major obstacle to achieve your ultimate goal of being cleared of any past wrong doing so you may qualify for a gainful employment, if I understood you correctly.” “You are unknowingly distracting my attention from specifics by bringing in so many unfamiliar, causally ineffective/irrelevant details, not to mention your spectacular colorful antiques.” “Calm down Quin, this is important to your future.” It was very difficult for Quin to fully comply but, without the benefit of a recorder or paper to write notes, Yogi still managed to get the following information.
Quin had spent time in jail when convicted for the abduction and rape of a minor when allegedly, his assigned Public Defender wouldn’t testify against his colleague, Quin’s Prosecutor, for prosecutorial malpractice. Apparently, the genetic test of the aborted child of Quin’s victim matched his own as reported in a document that was not authenticated by an official seal, according to Quin. Furthermore, he alleges, he couldn’t have abducted the girl for a few days before raping her in a basement without her mother, living upstairs, noticing and immediately notifying 911 after the girl reflexly denied consent for the sexual act. As it later turned out the mother did call 911 but for her current boyfriend when the mother surprised them in the basement; he was detained in the local jail for both rape and some other past unrelated case and later on released after serving a short time for some unexplained reasons.
About 2-3 months after that event, when the girl’s mother noticed the early pregnancy bulging off the girl’s abdomen, the mother wanted to protect the imprisoned white boyfriend of her daughter and instead had Mr. Quin, a local black boy, detained and jailed for abduction and rape in the same city’s prison where the boyfriend was still serving sentence.
There was also where Quin met the girl’s current boyfriend again, they were friends and both had had sexual relations with same girl before. While both share same prison cell the boyfriend admitted to Quin being the father of the aborted child. Yet, somehow, soon after that the boyfriend was released and subsequently he disappeared, nowhere in the jurisdiction to be found. Later on, when Quin was accused of abducting and raping the girl in the basement, he innocently told his Public Defender about having had sexual relations with same girl before, as the Public Defender took notes. Consequently, Quin was shown an un-official genetic test document incriminating Quin. Mr. Quin insisted on making it clear that it was precisely that faked document the reason the Prosecutor detained him in same cell pending trial and the reason why the boyfriend was let go free and was nowhere to be found thereafter. Meanwhile, Quin was convicted for an abduction/rape felony which had forever after disqualified him for a job position. Quin will never understand why, when his Public Defender introduced a letter sent by the girl apologizing to Quin for her lies about who impregnated her, it didn’t result in his absolution and release from prison.
Now, 20 years after that event, Quin is now looking forward for his criminal record to be cleared so he can get a gainful job! However, the fact is that indeed Quin never served the number of years such felony statute calls for, instead he served prison time for what the law called a misdemeanor lascivious behavior offense. The girl had confessed in writing she was impregnated by her boyfriend, not Quin….., or so he claims. But, regardless of its truth content, where is the document to be found saved now, 20 years later?
It should not surprise many people to learn that most litigation lawyers would have considered this case a waste of litigation time with no possible success in sight. For one, the Statute of Limitations would have applied, especially for misdemeanors, not to mention the unknown location of possible witnesses, the survival of required documents, high expenses, etc. But God knows, maybe it may survive as a fictional novel in the interest of the hypothetical value of rehabilitation, forgiveness, ethics and morality. But, where do we start, who would be interested in this vindication project with no distinguishable light at the end of the tortuous tunnel! What resources are there available for an unemployed Mr. Quin with a small toddler and a moderate income from his household partner? One wonders if there is any similar case of record to guide a possible course of action?
The closest case that may possibly orient a rational course of action we can find in a historical -albeit literary- case dealing with rape and racial inequality in the 1930’s as narrated by author/attorney Ms. Harper Lee in her now famous book “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” which inspired the title of this abridged narrative. Furthermore, because we have serious concerns about how much such only probable prosecutorial malpractice may be responsible for the possible negative consequences these experiences may impact a susceptible early childhood witness when subjected to this quotidian drama, the case of Quin Jr.
Just like it happened during the Depression of the 1930’s in Southern Alabama, we in the current 2016 national depression witness how this young toddler is learning about life at home, in the Central Florida community and life in general. Like in Alabama then, the course of future legal action in Quin’s controversial case now, will hinge on the dreams of Yogi, an idealist retired attorney struggling to make sense out of a young black man’s case claiming he was falsely accused of abducting and raping a white woman. Like then, like today, it is astounding to witness human’s inhumanity to each other. One needs only to empathize by stepping into the shoes of Quin to appreciate and finally understand that race, money, professional titles, social standing or connections cannot adequately define a sentient human being. The defense of life and a biopsychosocial equilibrium inspired by ethical and moral standards is, believe it or not, the key to our human species survival in the long run.
Before we start implementing a litigation plan we have to identify the closest legal clinic department of a Law school in Central Florida where Quin now resides with his family and Warren, Ohio City. and the State Courthouse where things and occurrences took place and recorded some 20 years ago. Hopefully some law facultative will encourage a law student to pursue the project for a grade.
It would not be very easy to synchronize the activities of the legal clinics in Central Florida, Warren, Ohio and Dr. Yogi, as anticipated. One may have to request the participation of ACLU and any Legal Aid Society willing to participate while keeping the Google browser and smart phones busy, for starters. Once the team was synchronized and a strategy agreed upon, it was hoped that Mr. Quin’s criminal records were cleared administratively and thereby save his family’s future life. A tortious compensatory litigation for damages to Quin was not ruled out.
After many hours of Google search, e-mailings and telephone inquiries we managed to put together a synchronized group of law school students, easy access to criminal procedure and administrative law faculty running the Legal Clinics of both Florida and Ohio and the participation of Legal Services, ACLU. It was hoped that a solution would be found within an administrative legal hearing if possible.
The first Administrative hearing was held in the Ohio Courthouse. Yogi was silently watching how Judge X suddenly emerged from an arched door inside Warren, Ohio’s elegant Courthouse, walked a few steps along the classic stone tiles and hesitantly approached his high bench and sat down. The defense lawyer DL for Ms. WYW, the local 39-year-old white young woman, seemed just as nervous as WYW herself who was donning a pristine conservative white long dress and was sitting next to him by the witness stand.
In contrast, the two lawyers from Legal Services, sitting next to Yogi, feigned a confident relaxed state, ready to undermine and shred to pieces whatever WYW had to say about what happened some 20 yrs. ago when themselves, both young aspiring ‘prosecutors’ didn’t even think of going to their respective law schools in Central Florida and Ohio.
Judge X, looking taller than he really was, stood up on his bench-pedestal. WYW, visibly nervous, was staring at the judge from the witness stand and jumped to her feet when her name was called and ordered to stand up, raise her right hand and with the left hand over the Bible, swear under oath that whatever evidence she will give will be the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help her God.
“I do” she replied as the audience observed she was a heavy set, muscular woman used to do heavy work in the field; her conservative long white dress was a contrasting feature.
“Ms. WYW, please tell the judge in your own words what you remember as to what happened on Xmas Eve, 1996, almost 20 yrs. ago, shortly after you celebrated with family and neighbors?” “More precisely, where were you?” Judge X and the witness crossed starings at each other before she defiantly said “In the house, of course, where else could I be, most everyone was gone after eating barbecued pork and washing it down with plenty of homemade bootleg?”
The ‘prosecutor-like’ Legal Aid Society team member interrupted her testimony and smiling asked, “…most everyone Madame?” “And what were you doing then?” The judge hammered down, “..calm down sir, I’ll ask the questions now, you’ll get a chance to ask yours soon.”
Before the judge even finished, Ms. WYW yelled “..nutting, I was doing nutting! The judge tried to calm her down and said in a soothing tone, “…please lady tell us, the best way you can, what actually happened to you that night.”
“Well, hell,…I don’t know sir, he must have been still under the effects of bootleg and, …I don’t know, he came along and, I don’t know what the hell happened to him because …..” The judge interrupted her in midsentence and asked her “…Who was he?” She turned around and looking at the ‘prosecutor’s team, pointed a finger at Quin, sitting between the 2 lawyers. Quin catapulted from the chair and, before he could say one word, his two lawyers grabbed him and pulled him back to the seat before he went berserk! Ms. WYW, looked scared at her defense lawyer who motioned to her to be calm, to continue without looking at Quin, whom she surprisingly noticed hadn’t changed much in appearance after 20 years.
She replied to the Judge’s question avoiding eye contact with Quin “I yelled at him, what’s up with you nigger, why do you look at me that way, gonna hit me or som’n? I then turned around to grab whatever was in sight to defend me in case the nigger got funny and ‘fore I knew he was wrestling to get on top of me. I tried to run but he grabbed me, cussing and yelling dirt as he hit me again and again. Then he tried to get funny and take advantage of me.”
The judge asked again, “Did you try to fight him back, you look stronger than he does.” Ms. WYW was confused and looked again at her defense lawyer and in desperation said “I must have, I reckon I did, fought back tooth and nail, I don’t know but he’d done what he came after.” Her lawyer gently grabbed her hand and assured her she had done well, to be steady.
The Judge then recognized the defense lawyer for Mr. Quin as the rest of the Legal Aid Society lawyers team nervously took notes, “You are sure of that Ms. WYW?”
“Damn sure.” She was cocky and confident. Meanwhile, Yogi was grinning as he approached the team and made some suggestions. The lawyer for the team then continued, “Lady, please tell the court, how old are you now, more than 20 years after you had consented to occasional sexual intimacies with both Mr. Quin and your then boyfriend?”
Ms. WYW bristled in anger and replied, “I already told the judge how old I am, were you not paying attention, you were there, weren’t you sir?
“Just answer the question Ma’am.”, Judge thundered from the bench. She jerked her head in resentment in response to the scolding while looking in frustration to her lawyer, hoping he would say something to save her embarrassment. She finally answered “I am sure you remember I am 39 years old now, don’t you sir, stop mocking me sir?”
There was silence in the Courtroom while both parts exchange looks and Judge took notes.
“I sure will Ma’am, as soon as you stop making fun of this Administrative procedure in this Courtroom.”, was the stern reply of Quin’s lawyer. The judge had to intervene in this discussion,
“Lady, at least one of Mr. Quin’s layer practices in this court for some years now and has always been respectful and polite to witnesses and others.”
Ms. WFW interrupted, “he don’t have to call me ‘whore’ or ‘lady’ or ‘miss’, it pisses me up!”
Judge had learned that many folk from the backwoods mountains, had big families, were poor or had not much of a formal education and were living below the poverty line and likely would take offense at ordinary, routine courtesy.
.Meanwhile, Yogi pondered as to whether that was also Quin’s shortcoming, in which case he reaffirmed his inner conviction that perhaps rehabilitation was possible. Why did Quin have to volunteer to his Public Defender the fact that he had had sexual relations with this lady in the past, as if nobody else did, knowing, as he did, that his buddy friend was the one who impregnated her, as he himself had confessed to him? He is now nowhere to be found to testify in his behalf, and has disappeared!
Yogi’s strategy to ask loaded questions to the defense witnesses would be to elicit the equivalent to subtle confessions of guilt if defense attorney would not object to it for being immaterial or irrelevant. But Yogi’s intuition told him that hopefully, in the interest of justice, this judge may deny such objections, he’ll keep his fingers crossed! Next step would be to get Ms. WYW’s mother to declare under oath on the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of his daughter and her questionable follow up actions following such alleged ‘rape’ by Yogi.
To counter the strategy of WYW’s defense attorney to justify her ugly behavior before the court and her obviously questionable account of what in reality happened, Quin’s lawyer then argued before the court that many good black citizens with equivalent genetic endowment and deprived environment, such as Quin, did not inexorably result in systematic ethical or morally deficient behavior.
Meanwhile the current Administrative hearing continued at the Warren, Ohio Courthouse. It was clear that Yogi’s strategy had been to emphasize on the woman’s previous sexual experiences during her early childhood upbringing and beyond while surviving poverty in the mountainous woody boon dogs of Ohio.
The Legal Aid Society team resumed its interrogatory after the long recess, “Ms. WYW, do you have any friends here in Ohio?”.
“And what the f…. do you care.”, she nearly vocalized, frowning and trying to control her hostility, “you’re picking on me again counsel!”
Counsel chose not to respond and ignore her complaint, “do you now get along with your father?”. Her father sitting near the stand, opened his eyes wide. “Whatcha mean? ” was her puzzled reply.
“You know what I mean, is he still mean to you?”
“He’s ok, but…” she said.
“But what, finish your sentence.”, said the lawyer. “But nuttin, I said He’s Ok, didn’t ya’ hear?”
“Except when he is hitting the bootleg bottle all day…..right?” Counsel gently suggested. She looked at the floor and nodded in approval. “Yeah”
“Did he ever go after you when in such drunk state?”
“What d‘ya mean?” She was now very nervous.
“I mean, did he beat you and took advantage of you?” She was panicked as she exchanged stares with her father, sitting not far away from her.
“Answer the question Mrs.” ordered the Judge as he also took some notes. The defense lawyer gently pressured her wrist as if to encourage an explosive reply.
“My Dad never put a hand on me, d’ya hear, never, never and you’d better believe it!”
After a short recess, when everyone present noticed how she managed to stay away from her father, the hearing was again called to order by Judge. Yogi was busy discussing his strategy with Quin’s Ohio lawyer when the time came to renew his questioning again. She was sitting nervously moving her fingers.
Tell us Ms., “How well do you know Mr. Quin?”
“Well, he and my boyfriend were good friends from school and we had fun together occasionally, and what’s that got to do with anything sir, are you gonna start harassing me again? “
Counsel ignored her, “Please tell the court what exactly happened on Xmas Eve 20 years ago on 1996 after the crazy bootleg celebration in your house basement with your Mother, family, friends, neighbors, etc., including Mr. Quin and your steady boyfriend?
“Whaddya mean by what happened, after everyone and his dog could hardly walk drunk back to their cars or houses, don’t y’a know. Try our bootleg and soon you’ll find out?”
“I can imagine! Probably some of them driving had to wait before taking a chance and being detained by duty police personnel, like your African-American friend Mr. Quin, contrary to your boyfriend who lived nearby and only had to watch for snakes as he walked back home, right?” There was a pause, then she responded, “Well yeah, and so what?”
“Nothing, just asking.” He winked an eye and grinned at Yogi who responded in kind with a thumb up gesture.
“Didn’t your Mom notice your absence when you stayed in the basement with your steady boyfriend?” “Yeah, she did and got mad when she found me petting with ‘my fiancée’, like she didn’t know already…. and, what’s wrong with that?”
“Petting only? How can you then explain why your Mom, after calling 911, had him arrested and detained in prison? How do you explain to this jury why you had an illegal abortion performed when your baby was not even 2-3 months in gestation?” He purposely joined that sequence together before the Judge and opposing Counsel objected.
“He is picking at me again your honor, I don’t have to answer that question, I didn’t do anything illegal, my mother arranged for the delivery procedure to be performed safely at home, I am not guilty, your honor!”, she screamed and tears cascaded on her cheeks.
But, the Legal Aid Society team, didn’t give her a break, “ hmm..’delivery’, is that what you millennials call ‘abortion’ nowadays, where is the baby, what happened to the dead baby’s genetic profile documents?” And, more important, why did your mother, after consulting with Warren, Ohio’s Prosecutor had Mr. Quin detained and locked in same prison area that ‘your fiancee’ was detained for the same crime? Before you answer, please remember you are testifying under oath….. and, by the way, so will your Mom when her turn will come to testify about her lie about the genetic test of paternity ordered by Prosecutor. This is just the beginning of a big political storm you have set up in motion Ms. ‘White Young Woman’ against an innocent ‘poor nigger’, like you called Mr. Quin.; like we don’t have enough with the melodrama of ‘Trump vs. Clinton‘s run for the USA presidency!!” The judge called for an immediate recess.
The Court session opened with the same Administrative Hearing standard operating protocol as usual, with all the players in their respective positions and expectations running high. Can the ‘academic’ Legal Aid Society team deliver on all its promises as anticipated?
This time, all of the young law students from Warren, Ohio University attending the legal clinic course were in attendance of this session. Yogi, stressed to the members of the academic Legal Aid Society team to “Please remember not to ask Ms. WYW any questions you yourself do not know the correct answer to, don’t take any chances. And make sure you do not get any reply different from the specifics that you asked about, remember she is a master at answering that irrelevant aspect of your question that may distract you away from your goal and favors hers. She is a master creating that evasive stunt..”
The defense lawyer man was busy talking to her, who was now dressed, not in a conservative long white dress as before, but in an old, raggedy pair of discolored jeans, as to create the opposite impression from the previous session before same Judge and jury.
Judge X was about to repeat-perform for the audience his own magisterial emergence from the same beautifully adorned arched door inside the elegant Baroque Ohio Courthouse and slowly walked on the shiny stone tiles towards the high bench chair only a few steps away.
The defense lawyer and his young lady client nervously stared at the bench hoping that the new ‘socially deprived landscape’ strategy would be more productive than the previous Trump-like conservative sociology did before. He was well oiled for this act after watching the CNN television rendition of the U.S. presidential debates by the leading candidates.
Meanwhile Prof. Yogi stressed to the legal team the virtues of his socially ‘moderate’ approach by adopting the very best of the emotional and rational content of either extreme postures soon to be witnessed, because the living, real life survival ‘needs’ of the human race will always, inevitably precede the ‘conveniences’ derived therefrom, all this notwithstanding the self-serving indulgence of both the extreme materialist behaviorist and the armed chair logical theoreticians. What we need is a realist Kantian balance between the Platonic idealist and the Humean empiricist extremes as Kant and Leibniz have taught us all, all of it considered from a theosophical ethical-moral perspective.”
Once more Ms. WYW got up from her chair at the witness stand when she heard her name called and ordered to stand up, raise her right hand, rest her left hand on the Bible and swear that any evidence at all given will be exclusively the truth. Everyone immediately noticed the heavy set, muscular Hill Billy change in clothing appearance from the previous session, the 39 years old actually looked much younger now in her new attire. They all wondered what strategy, if any, was up her Defense Lawyer’s sleeve this time around?
Before being acknowledged by the Judge or identifying himself, the opposing Counsel, Quin’s lawyer, stood up to remind her she was testifying under oath and begged her to please speak in standard Christian American language so people from the city could understand her. She covered her face with her hand to hide her anger and disgust at such demeaning remark. The Judge used his Gavel ‘hammer’ when striking his bench desk and ordered him to identify himself for the record and reminded Quin’s lawyer that he was inside a Court of Law and order.
Quin’s Defense Lawyer complied with the order and proceeded to continue his questioning: “Please tell this Court the name of the school you attended as a teen ager when living up in the mountains?” Already pissed off, she lied, “I don’t remember now, that was 20 years ago.” “Ok, while your memory recovers, tell us if you had any friends there.”
“Well, of course, everybody makes friend in school.” She yelled, “Didn’t you, doesn’t everyone, what kind of a question is that?”
“Ok Miss, look around and, pointing with your finger, tell this court if you can identify any of them present here now?” Quin was curiously sitting nearby, by the same seats where his own opposing lawyers team were sitting. She hesitated, looked surprised at her lawyer and had no choice but to point at her ‘favorite nigger’, Quin, trying to avoid eye contact with him, as he silently cussed her. “Let the Court record show that WYW is pointing at Mr. Quin, herein represented by our lawyer’s team.”
“So I knew the nigger, like I knew many other guys, and so what, what’s the point Counsel?,” she retorted defiantly.
“Was he present at your family’s basement Xmas Eve bootleg party soon after it finished; when you were 19 years old, that is. I’d like to remind you that you are testifying under oath.”
WYW bristled in anger, for everyone to see, “Judge, Sir, don’t you see he is picking on me again!” Sternly, the Judge looked at her, “answer the question Ma’am.”
“Well, so what, and so were a few others, like for example my fiancée who had to walk back home in the darkness, everybody else was high on bootleg.” Quin’s lawyer immediately interrupted her:
“Yes indeed except for Mr. Quin, sitting there,” pointing in the direction of the African American Quin, “who wisely left soon after in his car, soon after the basement party ‘Bacchanal’, because he didn’t want to be detained while driving too stoned by duty policemen on such eventful night.” Both the Defense counsel and her client were getting visibly nervous and did not comment. Looking directly at both, he continued his interrogatory,
“Can you tell this Court what happened soon after Mr. Quin and most others had left the basement?”
“Whatcha mean by that, how the hell would I know?”, she replied in disgust.
But the questioning continued without losing step, “something must have motivated your mother to get angry when you unreasonably delayed your return upstairs from the basement and she went downstairs to the basement?”
“Big deal Counsel”, she said mockingly, “I was ‘petting and necking with my fiancee, she has seen us before like that.” “You mean your fiancee, Mr. Quin’s social buddy, why has he not responded to our summons to testify in your behalf, just like he also did 20 years ago during Mr. Quin’s felony trial when accused for your own aggravated abduction and rape as a victim?”
“What the hell do I know where he is now or was 20 years ago, shit!” “Honestly judge, do I need to answer that stupid question Judge, Counsel is harassing me now!”
“Answer the question lady.”, demanded the Judge.
“I don’t know Judge, how would I know?”, she nervously perjured herself.
“For the record, your honor, I respectfully submit 911 recorded evidence of what happened in Defendant’s basement immediately after the Xmas Eve Bachannal when her Mother surprised her daughter having intercourse with her fiancee’. ”
WYW’s face blanched out from her uncontrolled emotional state and began crying profusely, her tears cascading down her rosy cheeks into the palmar surface of her shaking wet hands now covering her face. The Judge called for a short recess.
After a deliberately short recess, Judge reopened the session with the standard robotic like protocoled instructions and reminders issued from his high bench desk. Mr. Quin’s lawyer did not wish to lose the flowing momentum of that momentous occasion when truth was about to float above the murky waters of planned falsehoods.
Before Miss WYW’s tears dried up Mr. Quin’s lawyer was back on the fast lane. “I’d like to remind you, Miss WYW, that you still remain under oath.….. and so will your Mom be when her turn will come up to testify about her lie about the genetic test of paternity ordered by Prosecutor. This is just the beginning of a big political storm you have set up in motion Ms. ‘White Young Woman’ against an innocent ‘poor nigger’, like you called Mr. Quin.; like we don’t have enough with the melodrama of ‘Trump vs. Clinton‘ run for the USA presidency!!”
Her Defense lawyer unsuccessfully objected on the grounds of immateriality and relevance, they were browbeating the witness. “I will allow it Counsellor; she is doing worse than that.”
Meanwhile Quin’s lawyer continued to rain questions on her, “Do you want to change or reconsider anything you just said before the recess about what really happened in your basement shortly after your mother found you and your current fiancée having sexual relations? Tell us the truth about what transpired.”
“What’dya mean, why d’ya want me to lie and say som’n that didn’t happen? I already told’ja what the hell happened. What d’ya want from me? Mom thought he had hurt me when he insisted on it, right then and there, in my own house basement. That’s when Mom rushed downstairs to the basement and called 911 for help when I hollered ‘n’ kicked ‘n’ fought him back.”
“We understand, that’s why your Mom wanted your boyfriend immediately arrested and thrown into City jail.” She didn’t answer and avoided eye contact with the Judge. “Unfortunately, Quin had already driven away and couldn’t have helped you.”
“Nah, them two were good friends.”, she reflexly responded while her attorney closed his eyes in disgust at her controversial comment.
Quin’s Counsel continued his successful examination, “But your father followed your mother downstairs soon after…..but your boyfriend had already walked home to unsuccessfully avoid the 911 response and your father beat you up instead while insulting you, why?”
“How on hell would I know, why don’t you, yourself, ask him, he’s sitting there.”, pointing at her father sitting near the witness stand with an ugly grim on his face. She looked furious and scared.
“I will, don’t worry about that, I promise!”, was Counsel’s sarcastic response. But before he could ask for a short recess, in a rage of fury she got up, sat down, and sprung up again from her seat and, while pointing at Mr. Quin with her finger, she screamed:
“That goddamn nigger yonder took advantage of me and no fancy legalese shit gonna change nuttin, you yellow stinking bunch of…..” In deep frustration she began really crying, her shoulders moving in synchrony with her angry sobs. She sure meant what she said, stubbornly refusing to answer any more questions and ignoring Judge’s call to order and warning to jail her for contempt of Court and everybody else inside the Courtroom.
But a jail solution would be of no avail, practically speaking, when considering her extreme poverty and very limited educational background resources.
As usual, ex-Jesuit Seminarist Yogi had also mixed feelings but of an ethical-moral investiture, that would have been his weakness if ever employed as a judge and or prosecutor. Young Miss WYW’s deep wrath inner feeling showing at her contorted facial features, were directed at Quin, his 2 defense lawyers and Yogi himself, sitting alongside the team. Yet, Yogi couldn’t help feeling sorry for the young girl, maybe her real quotidian life displayed both inherited and environmental circumstances that left her with no real conscious choices but to survive as a human animal first and as a socially adapting group / social player second. Yogi’s religious Christian moral-ethical issues would always, inevitably overcome any other consideration. Maybe he was unfit to make real time impartial judgements after all.
As everyone in the Courtroom expected, a recess will be called into effect now. Some already held a lighter in one hand and a Havana cigar in the other and were ready to rush towards the outside exit door to pollute their lungs during the break; especially now that President Obama had just lifted the U.S.A. trade sanctions with Cuba, Havana cigars made it to Miami in a hurry! Others inside the Courtroom wouldn’t stray too far from their seats and just leaned their backs against the solid concrete walls tossing chewing gums into their open mouths. Judge had hinted it had been a long busy, productive day but still could accommodate one more witness before calling it a day’s worth. No exodus was rushing back to their parked cars or to the currently ongoing big Deland, Florida famous Music and Arts Festival this time. Yet, everybody in the Courtroom correctly suspected that the an witness, Mr. Quin, would be taking the witness stand any minute now. They won’t miss it even when it was getting quite late in the slowly cooling afternoon.
Once more a tense Mr. Quin stood up and nervously walked to the witness stand when Judge X called again the late afternoon session to order. Judge sternly reminded the Court audience that all witnesses remained under oath to tell only the truth and nothing but the truth. He was trying to hurry up the late proceedings. All eyes were fixed on the youngish, black 39 yrs. old, clumsy looking, clumsy dressed virtual TV screen shooter and sniper expert as he stepped into the witness chair. Before he could wiggle himself into a comfortable position, the Central Florida -Stetson University- lawyer member of Quin’s team was already discharging a barrage of questions:
“Mr. Quin, can you tell this Court if you have been in trouble with the law before this case? Were you ever convicted of anything, anywhere, other than a misdemeanor for an alleged disorderly conduct? Can you explain to this Court in your own words what happened, if anything, in the proceedings?”
Quin was confused with the complex question and didn’t even know where to start and looked confused at his team. Yogi urged the young Stetson Law School faculty member located at St. Petersburg, western Gulf of Mexico Florida area, near Miami area, to dissect out the question for him. However, the Volusia County Courtroom was within a walking distance from both Stetson University Main Campus and a huge ongoing Music and Arts Festival competing for attendance with the important Court hearings nearby.
The Stetson University Law School professor handed nerdy Mr. Quin a written paper containing the abridged answers to the questions that followed:
“Mr. Quin, please tell this Court on what basis were you convicted in the Warren, Ohio Courthouse for an aggravated ‘abduction and rape’ felony carrying a sentence of many, many years in jail. How long did you in fact served? Did you have any previous conviction in Ohio?”
“Objection your honor, one question at a time.”, Ms. WYW’s Counsel demanded.
“ If relevant, start with the previous conviction.”, the Judge ordered.
Quin’s Counsel signaled him to read from notes given and asked him, “What were you convicted and jailed for in Ohio?”
“Disorderly conduct Misdemeanor, got into a fight with another man when he tried to cut me with a knife, I defensively had to hit him with my fist to disarm him and only me served 30 days in prison because I couldn’t post my fee, but he paid his.” He continued, “that son of a bitch was gonna kill me if I…” The Stetson lawyer quickly motioned him to stop before he exploded with unnecessary expletives, Yogi thumbed up, having himself witness that ugly show when visiting his family on Thursdays before. Judge took notes. There were no comments by her Defense Lawyer. Questioning continued:
“Please tell the Court why did you only served a relatively short ‘misdemeanor time’ in jail for an aggravated abduction and rape felony conviction carrying many years in jail?” Counsel then signaled Quin to use the next set of notes given him earlier when answering. Quin apparently had cooled down already.
A more confident ‘nerdy’ Quin responded, “ Because I didn’t do nutting, no abduction, no rape, no nuttin, it was all a concerted plan by my assigned white Public Defender, Ohio’s influential Prosecutor and Miss WYW’s ‘nigger-hating mother to crucify me, that SOB.” With fingers crossed, his lawyer asked him to explain to the Court why they all wanted to harm him, including his own Public Defender?
“Because nigghers’ life, like mine, don’t count no more 1) the bitch’s mother wanted to save her white boyfriend’s skin, 2) the white Public Defender tacitly refused to challenge his superior and colleague white Prosecutor who was hell bent on 3) keeping all them niggers like me in big Corporate private jails who contributed high dollars for Prosecutor’s re-election. It’s a shame that ex-Attorney General Janet Reno died before knowing about this conspiracy!”
Wow, silently exclaimed the Stetson Prof., ‘got a lot more than I asked for!’ “A conspiracy you said? Why? He motioned Quin to refer to the following set of notes given him earlier. He was surprised Quin hadn’t yet exploded into incoherent explanations yet as warned by others, but he kept his fingers crossed for he had learned Quin didn’t even have a High School Diploma, only a GED Certificate of its equivalent, otherwise known as the Good Enough Diploma by inveterate realists.. If he only had had a chance to develop that natural potential.
“Can you expand on that suspicion of a conspiracy to keep you in jail and how you managed to only serve for a misdemeanor lascivious behavior offense?” At the same time he was handing the Court Clerk an official copy of the available records of the case.
Quin needed some time to organize his thoughts with the aid of the guiding notes previously given. “Well, in my humble opinion the most influential ‘evidence’ that the devious white Prosecutor had were an un-official typed, unsealed document where I confessed having had sexual relations with the young girl that directly resulted in her illegal aborted pregnancy as allegedly demonstrated by genetic tests evidence linking data from my blood sample and the dead baby’s biopsy obtained during an autopsy properly ordered by the Prosecutor after an illegal abortion sponsored by the young girls’ Mom, as statutory law requires.” He paused, looked at his lawyer for approval and continued:
“While I was about to be sentenced for the felony nobody had really in fact committed, the young girl had sent me an absolutory letter to spare me from probably a life sentence in the corrupted Ohio legal system. I gave the document to my Public Defender who somehow must have sent it too late to abort my felony conviction of record which, by the way, has prevented me from getting a paid job in government and every place else to this day. Imagine, how can I sustain my life partner and our 3 years old toddler son? Anyway, somehow, this absolution issue raised by WYW repentance letter must have all been secretly solved for the benefit of all wrong doers because the mother’ felonious conviction for an illegal abortion murder of a 3 months old viable baby, plus the unconsented rape of WYW by his boyfriend was all a secret, including my own tacit absolution from any aggravated felony responsibility as judged by my misdemeanor-type jail time! Obviously, the 911 call records when the mother responded to her own daughter screaming from the basement protesting an unconsented sexual assault, plus the invalid typed confessions and invalid genetic paternity report, etc. must have had a ‘Solomonic’ absolutory effect on all? God forbid! Two wrongs don’t make one right! Those who owe should pay without any exceptions. What about my heavy cross of permanent unemployment because of an invalid, tortious survival of an invalid felony conviction? May as well let it be known that we reserve the right to file for surviving unemployment consequent damages stemming from deliberate hateful acts by racists who are in tacit or explicit control of our national economic resources. Black lives also count!”
Mr. Quin’s unusually extended peroration deserved him a standing applause by several human rights activists still attending the late afternoon session, eager to leave the Courtroom and join the overly crowded festivities in Deland’s annual Music and Arts Festival.
The Judge must have agreed when he declared the legal proceedings closed for the long day until further notification. He let his hand holding the elegant Gavel hammer rapidly fall against his desk as he got ready to also enjoy the ongoing activities near his Stetson University small second office, not so many steps away along the now congested Northßà South, 17/92 corridor, not far from New York Avenue running East ßà West, at the very center of the quaint old Deland town of so many good and bad memories……, Stetson U. friends, Elks Club, Athens Theatre, Moose Club, Pontoon Island, St. John’s River, etc.
Soon after the seasonal Musical and Arts Festival, a thriving gold mine for local artisans, upcoming artists and musicians that Deltona area residents, like Quin and his immediate partner and young toddler enjoyed so much ended a few days later, all litigating parts were formally notified about the reopening continuation of the adversarial proceedings in the same venue, same parties, judge and personnel where they left off a few days ago.
The Gavel thundered with a deafening sound once the strong athletic arm of the same Stetson Judge accelerated it down and made physical contact with the white pine wooden surface of his desk. “I need not remind that all relevant parties and personnel remain under oath to proceed according to our Constitution and procedural laws of the land in this continuation of the previous proceedings. Counsel for Mr. Quin may proceed with his examination.”
Quin walked slowly toward his witness chair with some trepidation, he couldn’t count this time with the benefit of reading from the guiding prefab answers written notes to understand Counsel’s sometimes complex questions.
“Mr. Quin, I am sure this Court would like to know how a Lily white, socially conservative, racially prejudiced young Southern woman living in a ghetto got to meet and apparently managed to eventually develop an acquaintance with a total stranger, but a handsome looking black man like you?”
Mr. Quin grinned at the compliments but was hesitant to answer because he honestly couldn’t himself figure it out with any degree of certainty, other than to invoke the questionable reflex, subconscious presence of the predatory presence of a human animal in his pristine state of reflex-like sexual drive? How the hell else can he explain what happened to him when one day WYW asked him to help her with some needed work inside her house basement while she apparently was alone in the house shortly after having taken her children to school? He thought, “why me, she don’t know me for nutting because I rarely visit my mother living nearby and only when she needs help with her farming that I pass this young girl’s house and notice her young white face smiling and waving at this here nigger face of mine, I dunno but I courteously wave back suspiciously. How the hell would I have known she wanted sex with me as it happened unexpectedly when I went inside and she gently grabbed my body and then my genitals in her basement, Holy crap, that was crazy!”
Quin cannot fathom however effective he must have managed to have been to articulate into intelligible spoken language whatever thought context was present inside the previous mental perambulations. But he must have just done so when his audio-visual sensory receptors witnessed the standing applause from several Human Rights activists attending this session. He awakened from his self-induced day dreaming when the Stetson defense Counsel effusively shook his hand in admiration for his convincing synopsis that prompted the Judge and others to quickly take notes.
Neither could Quin’s team understand why Ms. WYW Defense Counsel had such ineffective arguments to derail or counter such damaging arguments against their client? Was that a tacit equivalent of conceding to Quin’s theory of the case or was it a way to protect themselves or their clients against possible indictments against the State for prosecutorial malpractice and their clients for criminal practices and/or tortious damages like manipulating documentary evidence and worse, the criminal abortion of a 2-3 months old viable life?
But idealist, introvert, shy, laconic Prof, Dr. Yogi, to the chagrin of rest of Quin’s pragmatic, extrovert, expressive legal team, as expected, preferred, at heart, a more equitable, ethical-moral approach, precisely the one that had always interfered with his own successful hands-on professional practice, one characterized by a more appealing and stimulating theoretical digging into the real-life causal complex forces and variables playing out.
In fact, along those lines, this case should have never even come to conventional Court trial. The legal faculty members and Human Rights experts were surprised, only a few of the young millennial students enrolled in the Legal Clinic course listened intently to Prof, Yogi’s unconventional arguments as explained.
“Can any of you please tell me what solid, reliable evidence, other than the questionable testimony of their 2 witnesses, had Prosecutor presented that Quin, or anyone else, for that matter, had abducted and raped this young girl? The witnesses’ testimony had successfully been torn to pieces in cross examination, thanks to your masterful effort. Was Quin nonetheless guilty or is the young white girl guilty? Guilty of what?” Prof, Yogi asked and then continued:
“Yet, a closer look at the young girl, a non-consenting white victim of rape by her abusing boyfriend immediately following the Xmas Eve moonshine orgy, an unwilling victim of abject poverty and institutionalized ignorance inside a racially biased Southern ghetto society, becomes both a subconscious offender -as witnessed in Court- and circumstantial victim of forces during early childhood upbringing and still operating beyond her consciously willed control? Victim because the primal needs of the human species is to survive and reproduce and constitute a higher and stronger driving force than the conveniences of abiding by Constitutional democracies abstract norms of behavior intended for social constituencies, not particular individuals. The need to survive at the individual level is superior to even the convenience of doing it peacefully in comfort, as illogical as it may sound at first sight. The unconscious need to be alive takes precedence over the convenience of even enjoying a healthy and happy convivial subsequent living experience. Was this lily white young girl guilty because she was tempted by an innocent ‘young nigger’, as she consciously describes Mr. Quin in the legal written confession submitted into evidence? Who is then guilty? Every case cannot be judged except in its own circumstantial inherited and learned merits, and not by general abstract -albeit well intended- social rules.
Furthermore, if some humans lie, are immoral, cannot be trusted around members of the opposite sex and engage in questionable ethical/moral behavior, then why attribute such negative activity exclusively to non-white humans, as if it were absent in the white Anglo-Saxon counterpart? Everybody knows that not all humans are created equal! Having said that, it should also be clear that there has being a punishable act and a victim, neither of whose acts came about spontaneously, and therein the questionable justification for creating a court system where humans are systematically processed as if created equal? The equality before the human species law is just a goal to reach at in a complex analytical logical process and not a destination arrived at, as yet. And always remember that, because of the unquestionable, intrinsic perceptual and conceptual limitations of our Homo Sapiens species, we will only slowly evolve towards that ever-receding rational abstraction of a noumenal absolute truth, if ever, but we can always justify it as Emmanuel Kant did in his now famous compromise between the extremes of a pure (“Critique of Pure Reason”) and pragmatic (“Critique of Practical Reason.”) perspective of mesoscopic reality. They are both correct within the limits imposed by circumstances beyond human control.“
As an example of the tenets of the preceding arguments, as anticipated by Yogi’s published biopsychosocial model of reality. Quin, unfortunately, was this time convicted and sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment notwithstanding the quality arguments and reliability of documents entered into evidence by Quin’s legal defense team. It had been a most complex political controversy that flared off and resulted in the questionable Electoral College vote ‘selection’ of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States when the popular vote registered was significantly lower than Hillary Clinton’s. The ‘new’ ultraconservative Republican party was now controlled by Trump’s myopic vision of economic stability. The private control of prisons made sure that the prisons were chock full of minorities and it made sure it sponsored the election of like-minded racially prejudiced political cronies. African American Quin didn’t have a chance with this new racially-tinged post Trump political reality. When have you seen a WASP jury majority declare a black, poor, uneducated human, like Quin, innocent when he may even temporarily gain a living sustenance from a civilian run prison system? Perhaps if they had more woman juries, but everybody knows that the macho type mentality seen in the presidential campaign keeps them out, especially in the South. Why give a Southern black American a monetary compensation for damages based on the unsubstantiated testimony of witnesses, they would spend it in no time in drugs and women and will be back in jail anyway, would be conclusion, what a shame,” Yogi concluded.
The Legal Defense team filed an Appeal. They had a job to do and would not be distracted by Yogi’s idealisms about what would never come to fruition, especially now that a new president has been elected who believes in making deals as the only working strategy available to get results.
In the meantime, Quin was taken back to jail and before you know it, he will be forced to get into an argument and a fight with a white prison guard who will have now an excuse to shoot him down “defensively, as he tries to escape.” History will then repeat itself in Counties and States where de facto functional apartheids still remain operational and now will flourish. Maybe humans cannot be trusted to effectively escape from the Homo Sapiens cage mode and remove themselves from the judicial cases and just objectively apply the corresponding legislated sanctions. God knows, maybe this can be tried using Artificial Intelligence algorithms where only objective data from objective measurements participated.
How could a jury give a life sentence based on purely circumstantial evidence? There were not even witnesses! Should we do away with juries and rather depend on functional brain recordings such as f-MRI that are at least consistent and need not require human participation, What about an artificial intelligence program based strictly on time-honored laws and judicial cases?
But “Life is a Dream.” Like author Calderon de la Barca pointed out in his classic. And we add, “but dreams are just that, dreams” as argued in this short fictional story that reality wrote.
References: 1) “Treatise on the Neurophilosophy of Consciousness.” A Multidisciplinary Biopsychosocial (BPS) Model of Reality. Penguin Books/Trafford Publishing (Revised 2014) ISBN 978-1-4669-4900
2) “To Kill a Mockingbird.” A Novel by Harper Lee. Harper ISBN 978-0-06-198026-8