The Practice
Inter Arma Silent Leges

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Even the jury objects

Suffering County Courthouse. Kittleson instructs the jury that closing arguments are not evidence. Because, they, like the rest of the people in DEK's world, have never watched television, or even a televised courtroom proceeding. Fade into Eugene saying, "They had an affair." Blah Darryl's story, blah racial slant, blah black man = killer, blah white girl = victim, blah blah blah. Helen argues the evidence. Then she counters Eugene's argument. Insert Kittleson instructing the jury that race really doesn't matter. Fade to Eugene. Blah the DA denies the relationship blah. Helen gets back on the evidence gravy train. Eugene: "Darryl Johnson is on trial, ladies and gentlemen, simply because he's black." Good. Gracious. Helen: "All we ask is that you honour your oath." How about they honour my barf that is stinking up my poor living room right now? Blah, Memento closing, blah. Backwards. Forwards. It's all the same redundant crap.

The Suffering Firm. Oh, the weight of injustice hangs heavy over Rebecca's head. Lindsay comes into the conference room just to patronize, I mean, to inquire after the case. Rebecca barks. Blah the case is over blah. Lindsay: "Are you all right?" Sure. Why wouldn't she be okay? Come on -- she's just had to defend a man who doesn't want to be defended, a man who is incarcerating himself just so he can prove he's one of the good guys. Lindsay says, "Rebecca," in that tone that means Lindsay knows something is wrong and just wants to make her co-worker "feel" better. Rebecca yells, "We're back!" Back to what? Interning people because of where they were born. It happened to Japanese-Americans in the Second World War, and it's happening again now. Hey, it happened to Japanese-Canadians too. Rebecca is outraged. She's upset because Habib believes that being a good American means giving up your rights and not fighting for them. Lindsay sits down. She's preparing herself for platitudes; it's tough to swallow those damn platitudes: "Rebecca." Pause. "Most people know that Arab-Americans are Americans, Rebecca, and that they're our neighbours." Pause. "But everyone's afraid. We don't know who we know and who we don't know." Huh? "We're afraid." Rebecca closes some of her books, and repeats, "We're back."

Suffering County Courthouse. The jury files in. Kittleson asks for the verdict. Instead of giving Judge Beautiful what she wants to hear, the jury decides to say something they want heard. Yawn. They have a statement. They read their statement. Kittleson interrupts to tell the foreman that her court is "not a forum for public --" but he continues, blah justice system, blah citizen jury blah. Eugene moves for an immediate reading of the jury. Bang! That was the gavel. Damn. Don't piss Kittleson off: "Sir! You have one more chance before you risk a finding of contempt." Pause. "Have you all agreed on a verdict?" Of course not; they're upset because the trial was an "appalling spectacle." Obviously, he's not a regular viewer of The Practice, because over here they're all about appalling spectacle, all the time. Wah he whines that no one cares about the facts, wah not even the judge. Foreman For The Truth insists, "Nothing that's gone on here is about giving the jurors they need to make the right decision." Yeah, nothing except the EVIDENCE, you ninny. Now sit down and please shut up. Blah a girl is dead, blah a man's freedom is at risk, and blah we have to decide blah. "Based on what, exactly?" Oh. Good. Grief. "We want justice for the victim. But we can't provide it." Well, they refuse to reach a verdict. They will not reach a verdict. They are protesting. I half-expect a sit-in. Wait for the Flower Power shirts to be seen under their suits and ties and a rousing chorus of "Give Peace A Chance." Okay, I'd settle for everyone just shutting the hell up. Well, it doesn't end there; he says that if the judge wants to hold them in contempt for not entering a verdict, well, "there's a certain justice in that, because contempt is how [they] feel." Could this be any more over the top? Could this be any more self-righteous? Could this be anymore unnecessary? Kittleson holds the jury in contempt and puts them into custody. Then she declares a mistrial. The jury files off to do penance for their "free thinking" in a jail cell. Helen looks pissed. So does Eugene. But Darryl, well, he's sort of smiling because his little strategy totally worked.

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