the jury was well hung
(originally posted 2/4/2020)
“So let me make sure I understand this” said the prosecutor, pacing in front of the box where the defendant was sitting. He paused and drew in a slow breath for effect. “You admit to renting the storage unit where the bodies were found?”
“Yes” said the defendant flatly.
“You also admit to bringing the bodies there and keeping them in a number of freezers scattered throughout the space. Correct?”
“That is correct” answered the defendant.
At this point the prosecutor walked slowly back to his table, pulled out a pair of reading glasses and began thumbing through some papers. The defendant watched him impassively.
“But you did not kill them?” asked the prosecutor finally.
“No sir, I did not.”
“Do you know who did?”
“I do not.”
The jury already knew that part. All of these facts had been established earlier in the trial and the members were looking forward to hearing how the prosecutor planned to wrap things up.
“Ok. So let me get this straight. You testified that you rented the storage unit and freezers two years ago.”
“Yes. Although I only rented the one freezer at first.”
“To put the first body in.”
“That you found in the woods…” said prosecutor and then just stared at the defendant.
The defendant, sensing that it might be time to fill in some details without the need for leading questions, sat up a bit, folded his hands on his lap and did some explaining. “Once I started finding the bodies on a regular basis, in the aforementioned wooded area I frequent, I needed to rent a few more.”
The prosecutor looked on, a little deflated. This was obviously not the explaining he was hoping for.
“Yes. I understand that part. While it is true that we have found no physical evidence that links you to the actual murders, the question as to why you chose to move the bodies into a storage unit instead of reporting what you found to the police remains a mystery.”
The defendant, for the first time having a small shadow of annoyance cross his brow, said “I already explained that to the officers who first questioned me.”
“Yes. I remember…” and then, showing that perhaps he didn’t perhaps remember the exact words, the prosecutor returned to his notes. After some rustling of papers he continued, “Ah yes. Here we are…. you said the reason that removed the bodies from the woods was, and I quote, “The same reason you cover your mouth with your hand when you sneeze.”
This was the first time the jury had heard this particular quote. All twelve faces sat perplexed. You could almost hear the gears turning, or trying unsuccessfully to turn, behind their eyes. Seeing their reaction the prosecutor paused before continuing. No point in making another point before the last one has been fully digested.
The problem was, the jury couldn’t seem to digest it.
When the prosecutor began speaking again it was clear to all in the courtroom that nobody was paying any attention to what he was saying. Or it would have been if anyone was paying any attention.
Everyone, including the judge, had a (for the first time in human history) “The same reason you cover your mouth with your hand when you sneeze” look on their faces.
Finally the judge ordered a short recess so the jury could wrestle that statement into some form they could use to determine guilt or innocence.
While they are led back to the room where they would soon be deliberating, the prosecutor tried to put the pieces together in his head.
- After a power outage at a local self storage facility, the owner of said facility makes the rounds to check on if all of the units have their power restored and makes a grisly discovery.
- When questioned about the bodies found in his unit the defendant, seemingly without a care in the world, admits to having brought the bodies into the unit.
- There is nothing that actually ties the defendant to the murders and there is a good chance that he did come upon them in the woods and brought them into his storage unit after they were already dead.
- The defendant doesn’t seem to know who killed them, only that afterwards they would dump them on a trail that he likes to hike on.
- His constituents demand justice, but what exactly can he charge the defendant with? Desecrating a dead body? What’s the opposite of littering?
- He is mid-trial with no idea how to proceed.
When the prosecutor was sure nobody was watching he sauntered over to the judge’s bench, picked up her gavel and l hit himself on the head with it a few times.
“What the fuck does “the same reason you cover your mouth with your hand when you sneeze” mean?” he muttered to himself.
With that the jury was let back into the courtroom.