An odor of pine sol mingled with stale sweat lingered in the courtroom as the bailiff led Jeff over to the table allotted for defendants. As Jeff scanned the throng of somber faces for any sign of sympathy, his gaze fell on the police officer who had arrested him. Hate for the man seeped through Jeff’s body as he sat and waited. It was only a petty crime. Why couldn’t the cop have left well enough alone?
“This court is now in session,” the Bailiff said. “All rise for the honorable David Elyon.”
Jeff stood out of desire to appease the judge rather than any genuine respect for the magistrate’s position. Shrouded in his black robes, Judge Elyon’s austere countenance sent a chill through Jeff’s soul. Though a gracious benefactor to the town and its citizens, he held a repute of being a repressive tyrant in the courtroom.
“The defendant, Jeffery Dawson, is herby charged with twenty-four counts of…”
Jeff’s mind wandered from the Bailiff’s herald as his eyes roved over the arresting officer whom he knew could give testimony against him. Caught red-handed with insurmountable evidence against him, Jeff knew there was no easy way out of this dilemma. He prided himself on his intellectualism and knew he would be forced to rely on his vast erudition to save him.
“How does the defendant plead?”
The Judge’s words shook Jeff from his thoughts. His heart hammered in his chest as those piercing eyes bore into him. “Not guilty, you Honor,” he said.
“On what grounds?” the Judge asked. “The evidence against you is overwhelming.”
“On the grounds that the laws established are impossible to keep and yet stringent adherence to them is demanded,” Jeff said.
“Which is why I allow payment in exchange for a sentence of life-imprisonment,” Judge Elyon said. “Are you prepared to make such payment?”
“How much?” Jeff asked.
“For the aforementioned crimes, I estimate your payment to be in excess of one million dollars.”
Jeff balked. “And where am I supposed to get that kind of money?”
“I assume that you are unable to pay?”
Jeff shook his head in disbelief. “This is justice?” he asked. “Life in prison for an accumulation of a few petty crimes?”
“I made it quite clear the consequences that followed any violation of my laws, did I not?”
Jeff’s head spun as the courtroom swam out of focus. This was absurd. The laws were excessive and irrational. How could anyone be expected to live under such rigid--
A man’s voice jarred Jeff from his thoughts. “Your Honor, may I say something on this matter?”
Jeff turned to see who spoke and dread welled over him as he saw the arresting officer step forward.
“I object,” Jeff blurted, but the judge’s stern look silenced him from any further protest.
“Your Honor, I am aware of the defendant’s guilt,” the officer said. “But I am prepared to pay his fine -in full- if you find that acceptable.”
Nonplussed, Jeff gaped at the officer. This was a bizarre twist. First a fanatical dictator of a judge, and now some stupid cop making outlandish claims of not only being able to pay his fine, but also willing to do so.
Judge Elyon’s face softened as he stared at the officer. “I am willing,” he said after a moment. “But only on the condition that the defendant accepts your offer.”
The Judge’s grim expression returned as he looked back at Jeff. “Do you accept this man’s payment on your behalf?”
Jeff stared from the judge to the police officer. “This is ludicrous,” he said. “Why would he pay my fine?”
“Because I love humanity,” the officer said. “And I do not wish anyone to suffer the horrors of prison.”
Jeff shook his head in disbelief. This was so ridiculous it reeked of fallacy. Who in their right mind would concoct such a justice system -- one without the slightest hint of rationale?
“I think I’ll take my chances in prison,” Jeff said.
“You are rejecting the offer?” the Judge asked. “May I ask on what grounds?”
“On the grounds that it defies all logic and reason,” Jeff said.
“You do not believe him?”
“I do not believe in anything that does not exist within the confines of logic and plausibility. This proposal is beyond reason and thus I believe it to be an erroneous fabrication of reality.”
“Very well,” the judge said, pounding his gavel. “This case is closed. Bailiff, remove the defendant.”
[God] will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent. [He] has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. God [chooses] things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:19, 20b, 27
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