The Practice
Pro Se

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In Rod They Bash

The Warden's Witness Chair Of Pain. Alan's right. He does have a strong case. Deputy Warden X explains that he was in charge of the investigation into Bowman's death. Alan: "You spoke with the defendant." Deputy Warden X says yes, he did talk to Ray. Alan: "What, if anything, did he say?" Cue Ray bounding to his feet like a kid on Christmas: "Objection. Hearsay." Alan argues that this is admissible hearsay, as a declaration against interest. The judge overrules Ray. Deputy Warden X continues, "He said he stabbed Bowman a couple of hours after lights out." Alan holds up an evidence bag: "Recognize this?" Helen has snuck into the courtroom to "observe." Hell, if I could observe Hunky D.A., I sure would. Ahem, right, yes -- Deputy Warden X does, in fact, recognize the contents of the bag; it's the murder weapon. It's a filed-down toothbrush, which turns into a makeshift knife. "You checked it for prints?" Deputy Warden X replies that yes, they did check it for prints and that yes, McMurphy's prints were on the toothbrush. Alan: "Did he say what, if anything, Mr. Bowman was doing at the time he stabbed him?" Yes. He said Bowman was sleeping.

Ray starts his cross-examination. He says, "When I talked to you back at your office, I looked real scared, I was shaking and crying." Only he doesn't really get to finish his question, because Hunky D.A. is all over him for hearsay. And when Ray points out that Alan used hearsay, Hunky throws so much legal terminology at the poor fellow that he's totally lost. The judge sustains. Ray: "So I'm not allowed to say what happened?" Odo: "You're not the witness. The objection is sustained." Alan sits down and tries not to look smug, but he does look smug, almost too smug for his own damn good.

The Hunky D.A. House Of Pain. It must be lunchtime, because he and Helen are sharing a meal. Only no one has touched his or her food. Perhaps it's plastic. Because Helen isn't real. Alan: "Every question he asks helps my case. He's still in his jumpsuit, for God's sake. He might as well wear a sign that says, 'Convict me.'" Helen crosses her arms over the bony expanse that is her chest and warns Hunky D.A. to be careful. "Why?" Because she thinks that Ray is smarter than Alan's giving him credit for. Hunky D.A.: "What am I missing?" Oh, can we not get through a single scene without the ridiculous music cuing up and causing my temporal lobe massive amounts of pain? Blah the jury sees a man who is not being defended, blah guy who doesn't know the law blah. Blah let him win a few, blah ease off the objections blah. Alan: "Do you really think I'm in a fight here?" Helen: "From what I saw, yes." She advises him to be careful, because their office has lost cases to pro se defenses before. Alan just sits there and looks at Helen, his hair jauntily curling over one tiny corner of his forehead, his eyes locked in confusion, his chin perfect. Ah, Hunky D.A., what would we do without you?

The Client Room Of Lunch Fun. At least Ray is eating his damn food. Ellenor, well, she's pacing. And yelling. And worrying. "Are you going to testify?" Oh, and did Lucy ever show up with those textbooks, has Ray really even consulted case law? Honestly? It's so silly. Ray hasn't decided yet. "Well, if you don't testify, how do you intend to prove that you acted out of necessity?" Ray keeps on eating. Ellenor: "Look, if I think this defense is a lie, I have to tell the judge." They bicker. Blah idiot blah. Ray: "You want to be helpful. You get me this guy. He's testifying downstairs." He passes her a piece of paper. She wants to know why Ray is doing what he's doing. And no, she doesn't mean why is he eating his lunch like it's his first meal after spending a month or two on a desert island. Ray quips, "Trial prep's really important." Ellie sits down beside him at the table. "You know what I mean!" Then she whines. Blah Ray used to trust her, blah when she said plead, blah he would plead blah. Ray turns to her. This cues The Lawyer Feeling Sorry For Herself Blues. "Did I let you down? What's changed?" Ray takes a deep breath. Apparently, it's not Ellenor. More time in prison would mean a death sentence, and not from the death penalty. Ellenor: "Then why did you kill him?" Ray throws down some stereotypes about being in prison, which I'm sure have a basis in reality -- it can't be a walk in the park, state prison -- but come on, how often have we heard that guys get killed over a pack of smokes? Honestly, at least put some effort into the story, writers. Yawn. Ray simply can't take it anymore. The longer the trial lasts, the less time he has to be in prison. Ellenor: "You killed him over cigarettes." Ray: "I said if." Then he happily carries on eating his tasty non-prison-issue lunch.

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The Practice

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