“Order! Order!” I shout and hit the gavel as hard as I can. With both sides having spoken their final arguments, it’s time for the jury to decide the fate of the defendant. For the first time in my very long profession I feel the old cold touch along my spine. Wow, a decade of being a judge and I never had this kind of case; I thought that I went through each possible one. It reminds me of my old man's last words, “remember, don't expect anything from the people, because each one of them changes and not always for the benefit of humanity.” God, this… Arthur guy.
I exit the courtroom but my mind is still there. Maybe it's wrong to give him the chair? No, you are a judge. Get your head straight. This man committed a murder, and nobody is above the law. The law keeps the peace and justice. If I make him an exception, then there will be others who will use this against me, and all of the justice system. There is no other way, this is the only way.
This can't be happening. Are they serious? It wasn't Arthur's fault, his son's death made him insane. It's insanity, that's what it is. Even though he doesn't admit it, my masters degree in psychology does. If he is found guilty, then he will get the chair!
“This isn't right,” I say to Tom, but he just looks at me and then back at his newspaper. I fix my glasses and say again, “this man is insane, they should let me work with him!” but this time with a louder and more aggressive tone. Tom stares at me, with his “not again” eyes. He is a nice guy, but he is here only because my sister asked him to come with me to keep company.
“Listen, you've got a ton of patients already. Why do you need another one? Forget it dude, that's just one life of many that are dying everyday,” Tom replies, but that gives me more to think about. How many lives were ruined by our book? How many have falsely accused? How many have given their lives for the good but we see their actions as evil?
Tom is right, this is one life of many that are dying because of the false writings on the law book. But this life is in front of me, and it is here for a reason. To show me the incorrect way that we use to judge people's lives. I sit quietly then, thinking and speculating the right way we can decide the fate of the defendants.
It's been almost an hour, and I am sick of hearing this woman cry behind me non-stop. My lawyer was good, but I don't think he was good enough to save my sorry butt from this situation. Actually, I don't even care. I know what I did was right, and that is everything I need to think about. The door opened and I see how the jury and the judge enter. Well, what you got for me?
“All rise,” I hear the man in a shiny suit command. Damn, Johnny actually wanted to look like that, all classy and so proud of himself.
Judge Alexander stands tall behind his desk and speaks out, “Arthur Storm, on the charge of murder, we find the defendant guilty of first degree murder. The defendant found guilty, the sentence being the death penalty.”
After he said the last two words, one well-dressed gentleman with glasses screams out “this is not right, what has happened to us?! To the society?!”
But soon security takes him and his friend out. Son, if you want to save me, you'd have to do more than just scream a bunch of nonsense.
Rodney Alcala didn't deserve to live. That son of a gun done raped and killed six children… including my son. His death, was a real pleasure for me. After spending six months planning his death, imagining it and rehearsing it constantly, it ended up even better than I imagined. Keeping him alive for as long as possible for him to feel as much pain as I could give him, for who knows how much crime he really committed and how much he would do if not for me. It was worth every toothpick under his nail, every bone that I broke and the scars I have given him. It was all for the people but they won't understand it because they haven't lost anyone who was dear for them.
I enter an armored car, and soon I hear the engine going. I guess I'll see you soon Storm Junior, can't wait to meet you again.
“What the hell was that?!” I hear Tom shout at me. He's right, that was an unnecessary explosion of my emotions. But hearing the verdict, it made me feel so wrong. My vision became blurry, and my mind was going a hundred and twenty miles per hour, I just could not control myself.
“I'm sorry,” I barely say, trying to breath in the air. “I just, lost it.” I straighten up and inhale as much as I can and then breath out.
“Yeah, well you made us look like idiots!” Tom shouted again. Why doesn't he understand that that doesn't matter. A man is sentenced to death and he is worrying about how he looks in public.
I come close to him, glare into his eyes to the point where it is uncomfortable for him. “You just saw a man’s life being tossed out, and you care how the ladies will look at you? Pathetic.” I say these words as I turn around and just walk towards my car.
While driving in the highway, I continue to think. Arthur killed a man who was killing more people, a man who was doing it for pleasure and who would kill more if he was still alive. Should we really punish Arthur then? Can't we see that what he did was actually right from a certain point of view? That's it then. In order to have a correct way of judging people, we shouldn't ask ourselves what the defendant has done, but rather why they did it and how will it affect the people. But then they need to tell the truth, we'll use the lie detector. But then, there is a way people can get away with it… Hmph… Then we have to rely on people's honesty. But who in their right mind would confess to raping and murdering? It seems, that the law that we have is the only one we can have because we can't trust the people. This is the right way, Chris. This is the Right way.
This is what he deserves, he killed and now he is going to be killed. This is justice. The man in glasses doesn't understand. It's seems easy when you don't get what is really happening, but really, the big picture relies on every piece. A mosaic won't be complete with one little piece missing.
“Sir, are you alright?” I look behind me and see a police officer holding my arm. “Do you need to see the doctor?” Wait, why do I need to see the doctor? After he asks me that, I touch my forehead and notice that I am sweating like a dog.
“I am alright, I just need some fresh air,” I whisper, and move towards a window. Open it and breath in as much as I can. It's okay, the decision has been made. There is nothing you can do now. Why am I even thinking about this? The man committed a crime, he must be punished. Justice applies to everyone. You did the right thing, Alex. You did the Right thing.
I could have turned him in, that would've been good enough. I would even get a reward. I had all evidence against Rodney, he could rot in jail till he died. All the sufferings that he gave to those children would pay back in prison. I could have… I should have… no. Men get arrested, dogs get put down. Rodney was tainting this world, he was a disease, and I was the cure.
Guards carry me through the spooky corridor, the kinds you see in horror movies with blinking lights and white tiled floors. The guards finally set me on a black chair and start to strap me in. I was not thinking about my death, but rather my reunion with my son John. What must he had felt during his last moments? He needed me and I wasn't there… but now I am coming Johnny. I am coming and we can all be together now: you, me and mommy. The guards finished.
“Any last words?” One of the guards asked while another put a sponge on my head. A tear came out of my left eye.
“I did the right thing… I did the right thing.”