by J.L. O'Dell
Lawyer gives a powerful closing argument
| “Mr. Jackson, is defense prepared to deliver their closing argument?” Judge Peters asked.
Mr. Jackson stood up. “We are, your honor.”
“You may proceed Mr. Jackson.”
“Thank you, your honor.” Mr. Jackson approached the jury box. He scanned the faces of the men and women who sat there. During the week-long trial, he watched their reactions and was confident that he had already convinced two of them of his client’s innocence. He hoped he could convince more jurors during his closing. He didn’t want his client to go through another trail. Jackson wanted this finished.
“Ladies of gentlemen of the jury, my client, Mrs. Bradshaw, is on trial fighting for her life. She has been wrongfully accused of a crime she did not commit, could not commit. She has been accused of murdering her husband of 40 years.” He walked along the jury box as he spoke searching for any signs of a sympathetic face.
“The DA’s office would love for you to believe my client, a 65-year old woman, hated the man she built a business with, had four children with and was happily married to for forty years.” He turned to look at the four adult children sitting in the gallery behind their mother. “That she had the cunning and the strength to lure her husband into a situation where she could callously kill him with her bare hands. If that’s how she truly felt, why not file for divorce? Because they loved each other. Let us not forget, ladies and gentlemen, that the cause of death was a broken neck. Not from a serious fall such as being pushed down a flight of stairs. To break a man’s neck requires skill and strength. He was found slumped over in his chair. His head on his desk.” Mr. Jackson searched the faces of the jury before turning and walking to the table where his client and his second chair waited. He winked at them.
“You heard the corner testify that it was possible that poor Mr. Bradshaw stood up, lost his balance and fell forward in such a way that his neck broke. That he could have fallen back into his chair and that is why he was found slumped over his desk.” Jackson slowly walked over to the jury box putting his thoughts in order.
“You heard the investigating detective state that there were no other entrances leading into the first-floor office and that the windows were intact and locked. His secretary testified that no one had entered Mr. Bradshaw’s office for at least two hours before the body was found by Mrs. Bradshaw. The only reason this farce of a trial is before you now is that the District Attorney is up for re-election and she is looking for a slam dunk conviction. Her only evidence of a motive is a one-million-dollar life insurance policy that Mrs. Bradshaw purchased a year ago after Mr. Bradshaw suffered a heart attack. That was a business decision.”
He paced down the jury box looking at faces. I got this he thought. “The DA’s office has presented no hard evidence that Mrs. Bradshaw murdered the man she had been through so much in life with. If they had something, they would have presented it by now. Where is it? Ladies and gentlemen when you retire to chambers to discuss and go through the evidence, you will discover again what you already know in your heart. Without the evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that my client committed a crime, and in the interest to see justice done here today, you must return a finding of not guilty. Thank you.”
“Does defense rest, Mr. Jackson?”
“Yes, your honor, we do.”
Within an hour court was back in season. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury have you reached a verdict?”
The jury foremen stood holding a folded piece of paper. “We have your honor.”
“Officer.” The court officer brought the folded paper to the judge who looked quickly at it and had the paper returned to the foremen.
“How do you find?” The judge asked for the benefit of the court.
“We find the defendant, Mrs. Bradshaw, on the count of murder in the first degree, not guilty.”
Jackson looked over at his client and smiled. His second chair got up and started packing their briefs. Mrs. Bradshaw leaned over to whisper in his ear. “We did it. See you next week in the Caymans.”