"You stand accused. How do you plead?"

"Not guilty Your Honor."

"Is the prosecution ready to present its case?"

"The Prosecution is eminently ready Your Honor ... to proceed with fervor and gusto. This is an airtight case with no alibies"

"The accused will stand on the trap door.
The Prosecutor may present his case."

"Is it not true that during your lifetime you have worshipped idols?"

"How can you accuse me of that? It is absurd."

"Really? Did you not worship at the altar of Mammon, chasing after the mighty dollar? I say you did. You enslaved yourself and your family to creditors so you could live a lifestyle beyond your means. You adored your possessions; your swimming pool and fine house. You boasted among like-minded friends at your exclusive country club.

"Is it not also true that during your lifetime you repeatedly, even routinely, in both private and public venues, used His Honor's name as an expletive? Do not attempt to deny it. There are witnesses I can call."

The gavel banged on the bench.
"The Prosecution is admonished not to threaten the witness."

"Objection, Your Honor. There are many witnesses residing here in Your city who can be called ... persons who can attest to the truth of these charges."

"Nevertheless, the accused witness is on trial for his life. There is no need of witnesses. I know what is true and what is not. Proceed with your case."

"But, Your Honor ..."

"Do not make me tell you again. Proceed with your case."

"Very well Your Honor. Now you, the accused; do you deny laboring for money on the Sabbath Day?"

"But it isn't my fault. My employer required me to work."

"If it please the Court, I ask that the accused be required to answer yes or no to the question."

"You must answer 'yes' or 'no' to the question."

Head hung in shame and defeat, "Yes."

"Aha! Now tell me about the time you cursed your mother, and the time you struck your father. You did both those things."

"I .. I .. have nothing to say."

"Let's move on to the matter of marital fidelity. You had an illicit sexual liaison with a married woman who worked at the same place of employment. You cheated on your wife."

"I .. I .. couldn't help it. She was my supervisor. If I didn't give her what she wanted, I might have lost my job."

"Oh really? So instead of losing you job and finding a safer place to work, you continued the affair and were given a promotion and big pay raise. Isn't that the way it went?"

"I .. I .. yes."

"Have you ever stolen anything?
Don't try to lie. The Judge already knows the truth."

"It was only a few office supplies, and a couple of tools.
The company didn't really need them. What harm did it do?"

"Living next door to you, there was a beautiful young woman, your neighbor's wife. When she sunbathed on her patio, believing she was unobserved, you went upstairs in your house and ogled her from behind the curtains. You watched her remove her top thinking no one could see her. Did you not lust in your heart to use her body for your pleasure?"

- - - - - -

"Your Honor, the accused is not answering the question. Please make him answer."

"You must answer the question."

A mumbled, "I did."

"Your neighbor acquired a new fancy automobile. That made you jealous beyond reason. You were so envious of his prosperity, you used an old fashioned ice pick to puncture all four of his tires one night. The next day you gave him a cheery hello and pretended to commiserate with him about roving vandals. In your heart you were enjoying his discomfort, smirking and snickering in secret. Do you deny this?"


"Your honor, I have one more charge to bring against the accused. You have heard from his own mouth, his own words, that he is in fact guilty of all charges. These are sufficient to deserve a sentence of death. But there is yet a more heinous crime he committed.

"He did, in fact, in a drunken stupor, drive his automobile at a high rate of speed, a rate far beyond his capacity to operate the vehicle. His vehicle struck and killed an innocent child. He stands here accused of violating each and every one of Your commands to humans on the planet Earth.

"If, in Your mercy, You will not sentence him to final death, I ask that you open the trap door so he may fall into my domain to suffer eternal torment. Nothing less will serve Your own justice. I rest my case."

"Will the defense present a case?"

"Yes Abb .. I mean Your Honor. I will ask the accused a few questions then deliver my summation, if it please Your Honor."

"You may proceed."

"I heard you admit to the charges. What say you?
Why should a sentence of death not be passed on you?"

"Because Lord. After that horrible accident ..."

"OBJECTION ! Your Honor ... the accused should not be allowed to characterize the killing of a child as an accident. He full well knew he could not safely operate a vehicle. He rejected an offer to have someone drive him home, or at least call a taxi for him. He deliberately, with premeditation, did willfully take control of his vehicle knowing he was not in full control of his faculties. The result is no different than if he used a weapon to kill the child!"

"Objection sustained."

"Let's try it again.
Search yourself and answer with complete and utter honesty.
Nothing less can save you."

"I did not mean to hurt anyone Lord. After the.. after I killed that child I suffered torment in my soul. I tried everything to put it behind me but the guilt overwhelmed me. I was devastated; slowly dying on the inside. Then ... don't you remember? A friend who believed in You said if I would trust You with my life, You would deliver me from the chains binding my spirit. Remember Lord? I repented and asked You to come into my heart."

(Speaking gently, softly, )
"Yes. Of course I remember.
I wanted you to remember and say so.
It is your only defense but it is sufficient.

"Your Honor. The harshest possible penalty has been satisfied.
I request a verdict of not guilty on the basis of substitution."

(The gavel banged.)
"So ordered.
The defendant is free to go in peace and enjoy eternal life."
(The Judge to the Advocate for the defendant, "Well done My Son.")

"Damn it! Why can't I ever win one these cases?"

"You know why. I defeated you and death once for all."

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