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Deliberations

Now showing -- July 4, 2003

  Episode Three

Copyright 1996, 2003 Dan Sewell Ward

FADE IN:

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, OUTSIDE DENVER FEDERAL COURT, LATE AFTERNOON

The jurors are alone on a bus, in a secure holding area of the Federal Court House.  Everyone is initially quiet.  Then several begin to glance at the others.  A few eye contacts are made, but no one says anything.  Henley glances and sighs heavily.

HENLEY

Brother!  What a day!

 

THENA

All those children.  The families.  It must have been terrifying.

 

PLUMSTEAD

But whatís the point?  All I heard was four overly emotional witnesses.  Iíll admit it was very moving, but not a single witness connected the defendants to the crime!

 

VEER

Can you blame them?  They underwent an incredible trauma!

 

PLUMSTEAD

Iím not arguing that.  But itís the defendants on trial.  Not the scope of the disaster.

 

WALKLET

But isnít their story part of the trial?

 

PLUMSTEAD

Not as far as I can see.

 

CHARLIE

Better hold it down.  Our jailers are coming. I donít think they want us talking about this.

The others shrug in agreement, as two guards and a driver board the bus.  As the bus drives away from the secure area toward the street, it immediately encounters a phalanx of demonstrators.  Police officers have cleared a narrow path for the bus, but groups on both sides are still yelling and shoving and trying to make their presence felt.

DEMONSTRATOR #1

Itís not the defendants who kill!  Itís the government!  Theyíre trying to kill us all!

Other demonstrators promptly turn on the man, DEMONSTRATOR #2 using the flat part of a sign to shove the man back.  The sign reads ďUphold Law and Order, Convict the Bastards!Ē  Others simply shove the first demonstrator aside.  DEMONSTRATOR #3 is a monk-robed, dirty individual who leaps and grabs one of the bus windows.

DEMONSTRATOR #3

Who stood for justice when Jesus was condemned!?

Two police officers drag the man from the bus, while the crowd continues to scream for blood, weep uncontrollably, or hold up signs with all manner of exhortations.  On the bus, several jurors (Walklet, Brightman, Henley, and Lola) recoil from the windows with horror.  Lola is clearly terrified, and tries to condense herself into an inconspicuous ball.  Thena moves to Lolaís side and tries to comfort her.  Most of the other jurors are surprised and shocked by the demonstration, but remain stoic, swallowing their fears and trying to appear unaffected. Plumstead and Damask exchange studied glances, as Duke suddenly lets his frustration become known.

DUKE

Back off, dirt-bags!  Weíre the jury; not the defendants!

The others look at Duke, but say nothing.  Then Plumstead looks at Damask.

PLUMSTEAD

Theyíre not going to make this easy for us.

 

DAMASK

You got that right, man!

The two men momentarily bond by exchanging wry smiles.  Meanwhile Lin Sue is looking around the crowd as if searching for something.  Then she spots the Channel 7 TV Station Manager, John Robinson, near one of the TV vans.  Lin Sue then leans back and closes her eyes, one hand coming up to massage between her eyes.

 

INT: HOTEL MINI-LOUNGE FOR THE SEQUESTERED JURY

The jurors are sitting at different tables, some alone, others in pairs and threesomes.  Three guards are in the room, at discrete distances, casually watching.  Damask and Plumstead are at one table, where Plumstead is consulting his jurorís notepad.

PLUMSTEAD

I canít figure out where all that jet fuel came from.  The burning was even all over the adjoining building, but thereís no opening between the buildings, is there?

 

DAMASK

Not the last time I saw.  Itís definitely not code.

 

PLUMSTEAD

What are you talking about?

 

DAMASK

I used to be a building inspector, until the graft and crap got to be too much.  Iíve done those buildings.  Couple of times.  And there are no openings between them.

 

PLUMSTEAD

But how did the fire...?

 

DAMASK

All I know is that the side walls of those old buildings are heavy rock.  And what weíve seen so far tells me theyíre still standing. 

 

PLUMSTEAD

So how did the fire cross between the two?

 

DAMASK

No idea.

Across the room, a guard picks up a cellular telephone.  Jack and Lin Sue are sitting at another table, with Lola.  Lola seems content to knit while the other two eat and talk.

LIN SUE

I was the classic non-traditional student, signing up for classes with kids fifteen years younger than me.  Hadnít studied for years, but I still managed to beat them out.  Of course, when I applied to virtually every TV station in the state, the young lovelies were way ahead of me.

 

JACK

I donít know.  You look to me like you could compete with them on any basis including looks.

 

LIN SUE

Why thank you, kind sir. 

 

JACK

I also think that brains win out in the end.

 

LIN SUE

Or luck.  Like being on the right jury.  As if that might help oneís career.

 

JACK

You sound like my wife. 

 

LIN SUE

Is that good?

 

JACK

Sometimes.  But Iím afraid if we end up with anything but a ďguiltyĒ verdict... Then being here will not be very lucky.

 

LIN SUE

You think thatís possible?

 

JACK

Why not?  You know the drill: ďInnocent until proven otherwise.Ē

 

LIN SUE

But if the authorities are convinced, thatís pretty damning evidence.  Isnít it?

 

LOLA

Oh I think this is all very exciting.  Usually, most people donít ask for my opinion.  I guess itís the price of growing old.

Jack and Lin Sue look at Lola, both smiling bleakly as the ďlittle old ladyĒ returns to her knitting.  Across from them, Olivia is sitting with Thena.

OLIVIA

Being the last alternate is not exactly my concept of ideal.  I probably wonít have any say.  But if I do make the full jury, then thereís a chance that weíll lose one more, and theyíll have to start over without us.

 

THENA

That is tough.  At the same time, I have to admit, Iím not looking forward to this.

 

OLIVIA

I think itís kind of exciting.  Thereís a lot of boredom, of course.  But you never know what to expect.

Thena abruptly takes her eyes off of Olivia, as she looks toward the door where GERRY MANDER and two policemen are entering the room.  The new arrivals are led by the guard with the cellular telephone directly to the table where Plumstead and Damask are comparing notes.  The two jurors look up at Gerry and the policemen.

GERRY

May I see what youíre writing?

 

PLUMSTEAD

Sure. 

Plumstead hands Gerry the notebook, and Gerry studies it for a moment.

GERRY

If you gentlemen would accompany me.

 

DAMASK

Who are you?

 

GERRY

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerry Mander.

 

PLUMSTEAD

Where are we going?

 

GERRY

To see the judge.

 

DAMASK

I donít think so.

 

PLUMSTEAD

Did the judge ask to see us?

 

GERRY

As a matter of fact, he did.  And Iím afraid I canít take ďnoĒ for an answer.

Plumstead looks at Damask, who seems to relent.  The two of them stand up, and begin walking out behind Gerry, the two police officers following.  At the same time, Edward, sitting next to Katrina, starts to rise, but with Katrinaís hand on his arm to prevent his interfering, Edward smiles slightly and sits back down.

PLUMSTEAD

We were simply trying to look at and understand the evidence.  Isnít that what weíre supposed to do?

 

DAMASK

Is there some rule about our not using our brains in this?

Gerry doesnít answer and gracefully escorts them out of the room.  As the doors close, the other jurors look at each other, the mood suddenly subdued.

LIN SUE

They told me I was number thirteen.  Does this mean Iím one of the twelve now?

Jack shrugs his shoulders and returns to eating.

LOLA

What happened?

Lin Sue, her eyes widening slightly, begins eating again as well.

 

INT:  SESSIONS HOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM, 1670 LONDON -- LATE MORNING

CONSTABLE HENRY WHITING is on the stand.

WHITING

I saw a great number of people, my Lord.  I saw Mr. Penn speaking and make motions with his hands.  I heard much noise, but could not understand what he said.

 

STARLING

Was Captain Mead there?

 

WHITING

I did not see him, no Sir.

 

STARLING

What say you, Mr. Mead?  Were you there?

 

MEAD

It is a maxim of our law that no man is bound to accuse himself.  Why do you offer to ensnare me with such a question?  Does this not show malice?  Is it like and proper for the court that ought to be counsel for the prisoner at the bar to act thus?

 

HOWELL

Sir, hold your tongue. 

 

MEAD

All Quakers know well this witness.  In Bridgeward he was notorious in his diligence for arresting the Friends.  It was his great delight.  His testimony against us is false and prejudiced, and thus should be impeached.

 

STARLING

You, Sir, will not impeach or demean any of his sovereignís loyal constables.

 

MEAD

Does this court not demean the truth by..

 

STARLING

Enough!  It is the witness testifying here, not you, Sir!  Silence!  Constable, you may continue.

 

INT: DENVER FEDERAL COURT, MAIN COURTROOM -- MORNING

Whiting is in the jurorís chair, as a large TV monitor is wheeled into position.

WHITING

It was, of course, quite extraordinary we were on the scene at the exact time of the explosion.  But as you will see from the video, our original objective in being there was for something entirely different.

 

EXT:  EXPLOSION SCENE, COLORADO SPRINGS -- LATE AFTERNOON

Whiting is standing on the street, several blocks from the impending explosion, and is speaking directly into the camera, a self-confident smile on his face.

WHITING

And so we can ask with some justification if the proposed revamping of this historic site, the original location of Teslaís laboratories, if this even modestly expensive rebuilding is really in the best interests of...

The explosion from the street floor of the building throws flames and debris across the street.  The building is not initially on camera, but with Whiting ducking for cover, the camera swings on its tripod to catch on film the toppling front wall as it falls toward the street.  The passersby caught in the explosion are already down and only a couple seem to be aware of the building falling on top of them.  The upper floors of the five story building have begun to collapse inwardly, the lower floors already blown upward within the confines of the building and then falling back.  Fire, smoke and debris are everywhere.  There is no verbal reaction from any member of the film crew, including Whiting, who as he gets back up, begin to stagger, mesmerized by the scene.

WHITING (voice over)

The explosion blew out the front wall of the lower floor of the building.  The rest of the front collapsed and then fell toward the street.  The lowers floors were first buckled up and then all of the floors began to crumble and collapse.

The film continues, until it becomes more professional, as it documents the aftermath in gruesome detail.  Smoke, debris, dead and dying people litter the street, a scene with all the detail of a war ravaged street immediately following a major battle.  Numerous close ups of wounded, maimed and dead victims are shown, including several children.

WHITING (voice over)

The devastation was unbelievable.  There were dead people everywhere. 

 

HOWELL (voice over)

Were there any children hurt or killed?

 

WHITING (voice over)

A few children who had been playing nearby were killed... Iíve just never seen anything like it.  It was terrifying.

An injured woman is seen carrying the mutilated body of a child.  After a few additional horrors of documented disaster, the video on the large screen TV screen turns to black.

 

INT: DENVER FEDERAL COURT, MAIN COURTROOM -- MORNING

Howell walks in front of the monitor to turn it off.  His face is appropriately grave, as he turns back to Whiting, who is now in tears and emotional distress.

HOWELL

Is it your testimony, Sir, that what weíve just seen is an accurate, albeit incomplete description of that horrendous moment in the streets of Colorado Springs?

 

WHITING

Yes.  Very definitely.

 

HOWELL

Would it be accurate to say that it was incomplete in large part, because such videos can only barely touch upon the true horror encountered on that fateful day?

 

WHITING

I think that would be accurate.

 

HOWELL

It is not the prosecutionís intent to belabor this horror, but I must now ask you the jury to endure a bit more as we consider a detailed analysis of the videos, with our expert witness pointing out specific details.

As the room starts to darken, Henry Michel, in the jury box, is seen leaning to one side, one hand coming up to grasp his mouth and jaw.  He is frowning heavily, his head very slightly shaking from side to side.  Next to him, Lola is silently sobbing, her eyes downcast.  Jack, meanwhile, is sitting next to Katrina and is suddenly intrigued by her puzzled expression. Jack looks back to the video, and then back to Katrina.

 

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, OUTSIDE DENVER FEDERAL COURT, LATE AFTERNOON

Michel, with an intense frown, is behind Veer as they board the empty bus.  They start down the narrow aisle, with Thena and Henry Henley just beginning to board the bus.

MICHEL

Man, I donít fucking believe it!  They edited and spliced those tapes ten ways to hell!  Shit!  You can prove anything that way! 

Veer turns to reply to Michel, as Lola boards the bus behind Thena and Henley.

VEER

Didnít you hear the witness, the reporter?

 

MICHEL

What the fuck does he know?  Looks to me like most of what he did was to duck

 

VEER

So whatís your point?

 

MICHEL

You donít got the cameraman!  Unless you got him, or somebody who can testify to the accuracy of the video, you donít got shit!  That means you got to talk to the man who took the shots, who filmed it, the guy who edited it, whoever put it all together...

 

VEER

You want a hoard of people coming by to testify?  The videoís not good enough?  What you see is what you get.

 

MICHEL

Not the way they showed it!  You just donít start out filming some guy talking to hear himself talk, and then switch like a flash to document an explosion in progress!  Geez, man!  You think the guy behind the camera has no emotions; he wouldnít be ducking for cover like that cowardly reporter?

 

VEER

I think weíre talking major league nit-picking here.  What are you trying to do?  Drag this trial out by bringing in a whole car load of different witnesses for every little detail?  Weíd be here Ďtil spring.

 

MICHEL

Itís like any trial, man.  DNA evidence donít mean jack, unless you trust the cops who collected the samples, the people who took them to the lab, the guys who analyzed the samples...

 

VEER

The man was an expert witness!  Heís a journalist.  Heís trained...

 

FREDDIE

Oh really?  Well, I know the dude!  Heís been to my lab.  Heís a mediocre has-been.  Plus which heíll do anything for money.

Veer, his face one of sudden suspicion, stares at Michel. Thena, immediately behind them, leans forward to hear more of the conversation, while Henley seems only mildly interested, and Lola is looking around as if sheís lost.  Walklet and Katrina have also boarded, with Walklet looking for a seat, and Katrina all ears to the conversation.

VEER

Whatíd you mean, you know him?

 

MICHEL

Iím a professional photographer.  I work with computer enhanced software, the kind where you can do most anything.  Itís very big in the advertising industry, if you get my drift.  I know from personal, professional experience that you can do just about anything with photos and videos!  I also know the dude whoís claiming to be an expert.  Weíve worked together!  I also know his cameraman, who interestingly enough, ainít been around of late.  Understand?

 

THENA

Does the Prosecution know about your background?

 

MICHEL

Hell, no!  Not unless they read the form I filled out for jury duty.  They sure as shit never bothered to ask.  Iím black!  What kind of photographer could I be?  Practice limited to family shots of others blacks?

Veer, his eyes wide and face stone hard, is staring intently at Michel.  The aisle is now slightly backed up, with Thena still intent upon the conversation, right behind Michel.  Katrina is also listening, as Jack and Edward board the bus.  Edward is already looking down the aisle, as if he already knows the gist of the conversation.

THENA

I know what you mean about being black.  But tell me, just how good are you?

 

MICHEL

Good enough to know that itís damn hard for a cameraman in a war zone to take the quality videos we just saw.  Whenever Armageddon happens right before your eyes, itís hard to stay focused.  I know.  I was a photographer in the army and under fire in the Persian Gulf.

 

VEER

I donít believe any of this.

Veer turns and moves toward the rear of the bus.  Michel looks at him with amazement, and then turns back to Thena, who shrugs her shoulders.

THENA

Must be a white guy thing.

Michel abruptly smiles and saunters a few seats further down the aisle.  Looking appreciatively at Thena, he swings into a seat and relaxes.  The others take their seats, with Katrina taking a long, studied look at Michel.  The guards and bus driver then join them, and the bus pulls out.  As they pass the demonstrators outside the courthouse, the mood is significantly different, with most of the demonstrators shaken and weeping.  Michelís smile turns to a frown as he looks at the crowd.

 

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, OUTSIDE HOTEL -- FOLLOWING MORNING

As the jurors take their seats, Thena suddenly stands back up and looks around. 

THENA

Whereís Henry Michel?

Michel is nowhere to be seen.   Thena slowly takes her seat, her expression showing concern, but a sense of knowing.  Veer is smiling.

VEER

Seems like our friend forgot to mention a number of items in his jury interview.  Like, for example, having been associated with some Patriot group a few years ago.

Several of the others turn to look at Veers, who glows from the attention.

EDWARD

Do you believe that?

 

VEER

Why shouldnít I?

 

EDWARD

No reason.

 

THENA

But what if itís not true?  Or what if it is?

 

VEER

Who cares?  By the time he disproved it, he couldnít very well get back on the jury!

 

DUKE

Hey!  That means I just made the cut!

 

OLIVIA

Lucky you.  Iím still a spare.

 

DUKE

At this rate, who knows?  One more and youíre in!  As for me, they couldnít have picked a better man!

Olivia smiles slightly at Duke, whose chest size has just doubled.  Several of the others shake their heads, slight smiles on their faces.  Meanwhile, Edward has set down in the seat across the aisle from Katrina, and just behind Jack and Lin Sue.  Quietly, Katrina leans toward Edward, as leans toward her.  Jack and Lin Sue tilt their heads as well.

KATRINA

You remember the film the prosecution showed of the experimental apparatus that supposedly caused the explosion?

 

EDWARD

Yes, but keep your voice down.

 

KATRINA

Henry told me he later remembered having maybe seen it once before.

 

LIN SUE

I donít understand.

 

KATRINA

He wasnít absolutely sure, but he thought it was work heíd helped with a few years ago.

 

JACK

They spliced in old tape?

 

EDWARD

Shhh.  Weíll talk about it later.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE -- MAIN COURTROOM -- AFTERNOON

The large screen TV is again being used, this time to show computer displays of e-mail messages and computer graphics.  Howell is addressing the witness, a Mr. LIKELY.

HOWELL

According to your testimony, Mr. Likely, this e-mail message was posted on the Inter Net by the defendant, William Pence, and addressed to, among others, the second defendant, William Matson?

 

LIKELY

Yes, sir.  The ďfromĒ address, ďB Pence at do it now dot comĒ, is the first defendantís e-mail address.  The message was received by his server from his home telephone.  The ďtoĒ address, ďBilly Mat at A O L dot comĒ, is the address for the second defendant, and was delivered to his home telephone. Furthermore, both messages were on their respective computers.

 

HOWELL

And would you kindly read the highlighted portions of this message?

 

LIKELY

ďAs far as Iím concerned NASA is short hand for Never A Straight Answer!  Somebody needs to get peopleís attention and make it clear that NASA is not doing its job and is nothing more than a lackey for the Department of Defense.  I canít think of a better way to show up those jokers than to do some hands on investigations of Cydonia.  Maybe even bring back the Mars Pathfinder and give it to the Smithsonian.Ē

 

HOWELL

And what do you understand the reference to ďCydoniaĒ to mean?

 

LIKELY

Itís an area on the planet Mars, where the so-called ďFace on MarsĒ is located.

 

HOWELL

And the last highlighted section?

 

LIKELY

ďHang the risk!  Weíve got to get off the ground and in front of the whole world, before NASA shuts us down.  For good!  This is not the time to chicken out.Ē

 

HOWELL

Has this message been changed or modified from the time it was sent?

 

LIKELY

No, sir.  You canít do that.  The software doesnít allow it.

 

HOWELL

Thank you, Sir.

Howell smiles as walks away.  In the jury box, Edward turns to look at Katrina.

 

INT: SEQUESTERED HOTEL, DENVER, JURYíS COMMON ROOM -- EVENING

Edwardís look at Katrina turns into a broad smile.  Katrina almost laughs in return.

KATRINA

The price we pay for being single.

The two look up as Jack and Terri leave the common room, followed by John Robinson and Lin Sue.  Both Jack and Lin Sue look unusually uncomfortable and hesitant.

EDWARD

Surely there must be some friend who...

 

KATRINA

Could provide for me...  No, I donít think so.  What about you?

 

EDWARD

Not at the moment. 

 

KATRINA

Funny part is I would never have figured Lin Sue with... whoever that guy is.

 

EDWARD

Love does make strange bedfellows.

Katrina laughs, rocking back slightly and leaning toward Edward.

 

INT: SEQUESTERED HOTEL, DENVER, JACKís ROOM -- NIGHT

Laying in bed with Terri, Jack is staring up at the darkened ceiling.

TERRI

Whatís wrong?  You distracted?

 

JACK

Something like that.

 

TERRI

Want to tell me about it?

Jack hesitates as he looks at Terri.  Then his attitude does a subtle shift.

JACK

Maybe itís the whole idea of a ďconjugal visitĒ!  Like Iím a prisoner and youíre a fringe benefit of an enlightened society.

 

TERRI

I kind of like the fact that I always know where I can find you.

 

JACK

Very funny.

 

TERRI

Actually, itís a bit of turn on. At least for me.

 

JACK

With you, what isnít?

 

TERRI

Careful!  Youíre pretty vulnerable, right now.

 

JACK

Youíd never risk losing your favorite toy.

 

TERRI

Maybe not, even if itís not exactly growing on me right now.  But donít you get too distracted.  Youíve really got to keep your wits about you right now.

 

JACK

What are you talking about?
 

TERRI

I donít want you getting kicked off the jury for talking too much.

 

JACK

Like Henry Michel?

 

TERRI

No...  Like those other two guys.  As for the Michel guy, heíd been involved in one of those Patriot groups and forgot to mention it on his form.  Of course, heís claiming itís a mistaken identity; supposedly he was never arrested for anything!

 

JACK

Well, maybe he is innocent.

 

TERRI

Like what difference does that make?  Heís already off the jury.  Theyíre not going to put him back on now!

 

JACK

Youíre right, about that.

 

TERRI

Of course!  Iím always right.  Now.  About my favorite toy.  Feeling better?

Jack is still thinking, until Terri gets his attention otherwise.  He reacts accordingly.

 

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, OUTSIDE HOTEL, EARLY MORNING

A smiling Thena Pales gets on the bus, sharing a laugh with Olivia Rud.  Lin Sue follows, but is looking very tired and unhappy, a fact suddenly noticed by Olivia when she turns to say something.  Olivia touches Lin Sueís arm.

OLIVIA

You okay, honey?

 

LIN SUE

Iíll live.

 

OLIVIA

Rough night?

 

LIN SUE

Letís just say it prompted a lot of soul searching.

Thena signals to Olivia to back off and the three women take their accustomed seats as Edward boards the bus just behind Jack -- who is looking intently at Lin Sue.

EDWARD

The testimony yesterday.  Makes one wonder about oneís right to privacy. 

 

JACK

I never thought of the Inter Net as being particularly private.

 

EDWARD

But isnít it curious how once youíre charged with a crime, everything you might have ever said, written, or otherwise expressed, can and is used against you?  Even the most circumstantial evidence, from your opinions about law and order, justice in this country, or the price of tea in China Ė it all comes back to haunt you.

Edward, a wry smile on his fact, takes his seat, as Jack sits across from Lin Sue.  He watches her, until she looks up.  She attempts a smile, but fails.  Katrina, meanwhile, enters with a light step and quickly takes her seat across the aisle from Edward.  She looks at Jack and Lin Sue, and then turns to Edward to exchange knowing glances.

EDWARD

I was asking Jack about the Inter Net.

 

KATRINA

Are you on the Inter Net?

 

JACK

Yeah.

 

KATRINA

You like it?

 

JACK

Yeah, I really do.  I donít send a lot of e-mails, but I do cruise the net whenever I have time.  Which isnít often.

 

KATRINA

I understand thereís so much on the net that itís hard to shift through it all.

 

JACK

Oh yeah.  But the discerning individual can usually separate the gems from the...

Brightman, in the seat in front of Jack, turns around to interrupt.

BRIGHTMAN

The Inter Net has a lot of porno and blasphemy, if you ask me.

 

JACK

Donít know what to tell you.  I havenít been able to find any of the really hard porno. And Iíve tried!

 

KATRINA

Yeah, right. You look like a true voyeur.

 

JACK

Feel free to try me sometime.

 

BRIGHTMAN

Itís just that I heard Michael talking about how uncontrolled it was.

Charlie, sitting in front of Lin Sue, turns around as well.

CHARLIE

Actually, itís the ďGreat Equalizer.Ē  Just like the Colt 45 in the old west.  Of course, both can get you into a lot of trouble.

Charlie turns to face front, a wry smile on his face.  The others look thoughtful, but say nothing as Lola arrives late and heads for her seat.

LOLA

Did I miss anything?

The others look at each other, a few shaking their heads.  Lin Sue manages a nervous laugh.  Veer then boards the bus, and stands for a moment in the front. 

VEER

Juror number nine, Gregory Walklet, had an appendicitis attack last night. 

 

CHARLIE

Oh wow!  Iíll bet that didnít do much for his wifeís conjugal visit.

Veer takes a moment to glare at Charlie.

VEER

Heís been relieved of his jury duty.  This means that our last alternate is now a full fledged member.

 

OLIVIA

Wow!  Citizenship at last!

 

VEER

Just donít anybody else get sick, or do something stupid like talk too much.

 

LOLA

Why not?

 

MICHAEL

No more alternates.  Lose one more and the whole thing comes to naught.

Lola looks at Veer, and then turns to Thena, who is sitting near her.

LOLA

Goodness.  I Guess I canít leave now.

Thena stares in amazement at Lola, as the older lady turns back to face front.

 

INT:  DENVER FEDERAL COURTHOUSE, MAIN COURTROOM -- MORNING

Sophing, as defense attorney, is approaching the witness box, where an elderly man is sitting -- (UNCLE) THOMAS MATSON.  Jack is watching Sophing intently.

SOPHING

One last question, Mr. Matson.  Have you ever known your nephew to advocate the overthrow of the U. S. government by violent means?

 

UNCLE

No, Sir.

Sophing smiles, and starts to turn away.

UNCLE

Of course, ainít seen him in near two years.  Heís been away a lot, I suppose.

Sophing stops in his tracks, looking at Howell, who suddenly has a big grin on his face.

 

EXT:  JURORíS BUS, OUTSIDE COURTROOM -- LATE AFTERNOON

Charlie is taking his seat across from Duke Hammond.  All of the others, except for Lola, are already on the bus.  The guards and driver are standing outside.

CHARLIE

I think I know how we could have saved a lot of time in this trial.

 

DUKE

Yeah.  Kiss off the four full days of so-called defense testimony!

 

CHARLIE

Iíll bet the Prosecution is happy.

Veer, sitting nearby and partially overhearing the private, subdued conversation, turns around, and with a wry smile, makes his own comment.

VEER

You have to admit, even Jesus had a defense!  But Jesus also spoke up on his own behalf.  He didnít hide behind some clever lawyerís rule.

Charlie and Duke make no reply, and merely look at Veer with blank expressions.  The guards then enter the bus, while the driver remains outside.  Lola is now exiting the courthouse.  Thena turns to the others.

THENA

Iím told that a fundamental tenet of the Great Sanhedrin -- thatís the judicial body partially and indirectly responsible for the conviction of Jesus Christ -- was that at least one member believe in the innocence of the accused.  Otherwise, it was thought, a unanimous decision might be one that was unjust and hastily arrived at -- certainly, not a fair verdict.  The result of this thinking was that if there were no one to defend an accused, the accused was set free.

 

OLIVIA

So who championed Jesusí cause?  Nicodemus?

One of the guards, GUARD NUMBER ONE, his ears pricked, has now already made his way back to where Olivia and Thena are sitting.  The jurors suddenly notice him and look up.  For a moment no one says anything.  The guard then turns and moves back to the front of the bus, where he joins GUARD NUMBER TWO.

GUARD NUMBER TWO

Whatís happening?

 

GUARD NUMBER ONE

Theyíre talking religion.

 

GUARD NUMBER TWO

Religion?  Yeah, well I guess they can talk about religion.

 

GUARD NUMBER ONE

Whatís a Sanhedrin?

Guard Number Two shrugs his shoulders, and says nothing.

 

End of Episode Three 

 

                                            Episode Two -- Two Trials  

Forward to:

Episode Four -- Sanhedrin, et al

               

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