Guilty Till Proven Innocent

This is what will happen when the government changes the law and you are guilty until proven innocent.

“Thomas? Thomas can you open your eyes?” Tom opened his eyes. “Good. Hello, I’m Maxwell Gitch, I’m the attorney assigned to you.”

“No attorney, no lawyer.” Tom shut his eyes and the jail cell went away. The lawyer didn’t.

“It’s the law, Thomas. You must have a state attorney to represent you, or your case cannot go trail.”

“It’s bullshit, anyway.”

“It’s the law. And I have represented guilty people such as yourself several times, Thomas, so I know how you are thinking, you’re thinking this is all uncastrated male bovine defecation, and you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m on your side, that’s why I’m on this side of the law. So could you open your eyes so we can quickly go over your case, I’ve got a dozen more to get through before the fifteen minutes are up.”

“Go away.”

“Really, legally, Thomas, I cannot go away. I’m assigned to your case which comes up next and you know we’ve only got one shot at this. Thomas, open your eyes. I’m here to help you.”

Tom opened his eyes, laying flat on his back on the floor, hands across his chest like a corpse. “You can’t help me, who are you kidding? You think you can help me?”

“It’s my job, Thomas. It’s my job to help you.”

“You can’t even see how much your job is bullshit. Have you ever gotten anyone off?”

“You mean sexually?”


“Legally, sexually? All of my-“

“Legally, in court you goddamn moron, listen to yourself.”

“No, of course not, all of my clients have gotten the sentences they deserved.”

“Go away. Really, go away, you make sick, I can’t even acknowledge your presence right now, everything you represent, goddamn you, go away.”

“Listen, Thomas, you must understand this. I am your attorney, if you like it or not. And you can either lie there and keep telling me to go away, or you can work with me to prepare the best possible case for you, so we can attempt to win you your freedom.”

“I’m not going to win.”

“No, of course not, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go through the motions.”

“I can’t work with a man like you, I need an optimistic lawyer.”

Maxwell laughed shaking his head. “Then get yourself a prosecuting attorney.”

“I’m going to say this once, and then I’m going to close my eyes and make you disappear: you are not defending me.” He shut his eyes as he shut his mouth.

Maxwell stood above him for two seconds by his timepiece, then gave up on case number AY4468728, nodding to the officer who opened the cell for him.


2 thoughts on “Guilty Till Proven Innocent

  1. granbee

    Peter, unfortunately, this is far, far too close to the truth in the State of Alabama in the good ol’ U.S. of A. to be funny. You have done an outstanding job of capturing much of criminal justice reality here!

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Rose! I am sorry that the reality got in the way of laughing at the fiction. My government up here in Canada has been toying with the idea of reversing onus, and having our trials play out like the title: Guilty Till Proven Innocent. I understand your concerns.


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