Innocent?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House One Word Prompt -- Guilt.

Submitted: June 28, 2017

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Submitted: June 28, 2017

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Innocent?

 

Amanda Fraser looked at her client. It was hard for her to hide the hostility she felt towards him, but her boss’s instructions were still ringing in her ears. ‘It doesn’t matter what you think, whether you believe he did it or not. Your job is to represent him and try to show his innocence. It is the prosecution's job to prove you wrong.’

 

It didn’t feel right to her, though. He had more or less admitted his guilt, several times, during the course of their interviews. She despised him, felt somehow soiled whenever she had to spend time in his company, but jobs were hard to find and she had been told quite clearly where her loyalty should lay.

 

"Make sure you look presentable, Mr Collins. I know you are a successful businessman, and you know that too. Show it to the jury! Make sure you look the part. If you walk into the courtroom looking guilty the jury is far more likely to find you so. Okay!” Amanda pretended not to notice the self-satisfied smirk he aimed her way.

 

"And make sure you do your best with my defence, Ms Fraser!”

 

She shuddered as she stood from her seat. He was so smug, so sure of himself; and she was caught in his web. She had no choice but to do her job to the best of her abilities or risk losing it.

 

After a night of wrestling with her conscience and getting very little sleep, Amanda made sure that she looked impeccable when she walked into the courtroom. Stanley Collins had taken her advice to heart. He was neatly turned out, dressed in suit and tie, looking every inch the respectable business man that she knew him not to be. But she had a job to do and she would just get on and do it. Hopefully the police had built up a water-tight case.

 

Amanda Fraser objected and argued, presented her client’s case as convincingly as she could. Not once did she allow herself to make eye-contact with the defendant; if she had of done she would not have been able to continue the act. Hopefully, the jury would not notice.

 

The trial ran on for three days, and for the duration Amanda kept her calm and did her job. It was not for her to decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence. When the jury retired to consider it’s verdict, she knew she had done her best; both her boss and Stanley Collins congratulated her.

 

The jury took a while. The longer they took, the better her work appeared, to everyone but herself. She wished she could have stood there and said, ‘Don’t listen to me. He did it!’ Was she really suited to criminal law, Amanda asked herself? She had always had the idea that she would be standing up for the innocent, the wrongly accused. It had not been in her dreams to try to get the guilty off paying for their crimes. She’d see, decide on her future when the verdict came in.

 

He was so sure of it, Stanley Collins; convinced that he would be found ‘not guilty’. There was not a trace of doubt in his bearing; he believed that he would be going home a free man.

 

And then the verdict -- ‘Guilty’ -- and the horror, the shock on his face was priceless. Of course, Amanda Fraser didn’t let it show. She commiserated with her client, apparently sincere; nobody could accuse her of not having done her job properly. She might have failed but the effort had been there.

 

Her decision was made though, about her future career. Justice had prevailed so she would carry on.....for now. Maybe her next client really would turn out to be unjustly accused.


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