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The Jury Is In

Weeks of bone chilling testimony
and countless hours
of emotionally charged deliberation
result in this final moment of truth.
The unbreathable air is crackling with intensity.
Outside the courthouse, paparazzi scurries,
carefully selecting the propitious perch
for the imminent media frenzy.
Inside, twelve visibly exhausted jurors
slowly move, single file, into their mahogany bench.
Muted sobs can be heard
as family members dab their tear stained cheeks
with linen handkerchiefs.
All eyes are earnestly focused on the accused,
who has been well groomed for this momentous climax.
Tastefully clad lawyers confer quietly amongst themselves,
confident of their performance in this high profile case.
The young accused man stares blindly into space
with an arrogant smile across his cleanly shaven face.
Soon, the bailiff bellows "All Rise!"        
and the distinguished judge takes the chair.
Endless hours of courtroom activity
culminate in this moment.
The judge silently reads the jury's verdict.
He pauses.
The whole courtroom holds its collective breath.
"Innocent on all counts" is announced.
The victim's family erupts in protest.
Elated lawyers congratulate each other
and the accused man bows his head
and with eyes tightly closed,
desperately tries to erase the horror
of his perfect crime
from his mind's eye.

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