Friday, June 07, 2013

...AND JUSTICE FOR NONE: Chapter 6 - Mitigation

IN CHAMBERS, 14 Little Graymatter Square. Jolyon Potty is behaving very strangely.

"They won't burgle me if they know I've got this!" He shouts, brandishing a gun in one hand.

"What the hell are you doing?" Asks Arthur.

"I'm not going to get the likes of Larry Larceny off just so I can be their next victim!" Screams Jolyon, waving the gun at Arthur.

He's definitely lost it now. Thinks Arthur. He manages to calm his friend down enough to get the gun from him, and calls an ambulance. When it arrives, Jolyon is sedated by a medic and put on a stretcher.

"I'll go with him to the hospital." Arthur tells the medic. "Just give me a minute."

Arthur grabs the brief on his desk and hands it to a junior barrister, Farquhar Flustered, who has been watching Jolyon's antics. Arthur explains that the brief relates to a hearing today for a regular criminal client of his, Ian O'Cent. It is a simple mitigation plea, and the client should get off with a probation order. Arthur asks Farquhar to cover the hearing for him, so that he can accompany Jolyon to the hospital. Farquhar agrees.

*            *            *

Later that day, Arthur arrives back at chambers, and goes to Farquhar's room to see how he got on.

"N-not very well, I'm afraid." Stutters Farquhar.

"What do you mean, 'not very well'?" Asks Arthur.

"W-well, v-very b-badly, actually." Says Farquhar.

Arthur is concerned that Farquhar's stuttering is getting worse. "How badly?" He asks, fearing the worst.

"I-I'm afraid he g-got t-ten years." Says Farquhar sheepishly.

"TEN YEARS!" Shouts Arthur. "What the hell happened?"

Farquhar explains that the hearing was before Mr Justice Denied, who took an instant dislike to Mr O'Cent and, come to that, to Farquhar. As a result, Farquhar made a mess of the mitigation plea, and Mr Justice Denied handed down the maximum sentence.

This is what happens when someone is not properly represented. Thinks Arthur, remembering that he has not yet decided whether to represent Judge Dodgy...

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