Advocate

November 18, 2010

Your honour,

By the power invested in me by a secretive cabal of lawyers, and their incredibly well-financed backers, I hereby sentence the defendant to be tried to death by a court of law. Not only will he have the right to appeal this judgement, we encourage him to do so! It will save us some paperwork and a lot of brainstorming sessions spent coming up with new things we can charge him with.

All objections will be sustained, ignored, and repeated in subsequent trials.

This court, and an infinite series of ones like it, will be filibustered by me, and my limitless associates. We will present an endless stream of (spurious) evidence in (ultimately futile) attempts to clarify points of arcane and tenuously relevant jurisprudence.

All of these will finally fall short of sufficient grounds for any conviction, of any kind. In the extremely unlikely event of us cobbling together something which this court is actually willing to pass judgement over, we will hastily sabotage our own prosecution, or in the worst case scenario drop all relevant charges, so as to ensure that our sentence will not end prematurely.

We plan to charge the defendant with perjury before courts, illegally constituted, and themselves existing only in our imaginations and our tedious documentation. He will be charged with violating restraining orders, which will be issued by committees of surrealist artists and inveterate liars; with libelling people he does not know, in publications which do not exist; with blaspheming his own divinity and with jay-walking in the desert!

Through an exhaustive series of incorrectly submitted applications and slightly disorderly court-procedures, we will maintain all his trials in such a state that our prosecution will be constantly on the verge of being thrown out. We will not, however, at any point make such a clearcut violation of any regulation that this will actually happen. Thus months of the defendant’s life will be wasted in trivial and meaningless adjournments and recesses.

But through all these diverse charges, our prosecution(s) will nevertheless maintain a common theme. No matter the eclectic and often contradictory allegations we make against the defendant, we will return endlessly and inevitably to a declamation of his sins. Inevitably, none of these will in themselves be crimes against the law, and almost certainly not a single one will be a crime against morality. Despite their irrelevance, they will form the cornerstone of our fatal harangue.

You may ask why we choose to declare our intentions so openly. If not actually illegal, they so clearly violate the spirit of the law. The question would be a poignant one, if there was anything you could do about it. Yet I have nothing to declare but my permanent contract!

What counter-measures are actually open to the defendant, or to any of you? How will you stop me from standing here until someone in this courtroom dies of premature old age? You can have me arrested for contempt of court, but that will only conform to the intent of our prosecution. Having formed no judgement on the substance of our allegations, there will be nothing to stop any one of my, I repeat limitless, associates from returning next week to repeat this absurd rigmarole. You cannot win (enough to stop us).

And what about me, you ask? Why would I carry out a task that will so probably end in my serving gaol-time? Though of course, none of you will ask. We have all of us already spent enough time in this system to know that I will be put in a minimum-security, open-access prison, or if not, will be rapidly transferred to one on account of my good behaviour and expensive accent. There I will slowly waste my life in meaningless work and relative comfort, with only a daily exercise period spent running laps of the expansive prison garden to look forward to. If you choose not to have me arrested, my fate will be largely indistinguishable, save that my apartment has no garden.

In any case, I leave all such decisions to you, as they are your affair, and do not actually matter.

As I have no intention of resting this case, ever, allow me to repeat everything I have just said in a loop that grows more and more prosaic with every iteration. It will never end. There will be no escape for anyone…

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