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“So it is with great regret that I am forced to let the defendant go,” the judge said, lowering her gavel. It was over. I know judges are supposed to remain neutral, but the look of disgust on her face spoke volumes.
Even though we all knew it was coming, there was still a large outcry from the galleys. I say we like we were all together, but I only knew a couple of people present. The rest had been organized by a victim’s rights group tired of laws that let criminals walk. When we heard what was coming, my friend Annie contacted them. Annie contacted everyone; newspapers, talk shows, television. I couldn’t help her. I could barely get out of bed. Of course it became a big story here in Colorado. But it only warranted a blip on the national front.
I knew the protesters didn’t have the same flame of hope I did. That somehow the judge would forget about the law just this one time. She knew what the defendant did. She knew what he was. But she couldn’t change the law by ignoring it. The protesters knew and they were ready.
“Order, Order,” she banged the gavel, but they just got louder.
“Officers, clear the courtroom.” She banged the gavel one last time and left, escorted by a bodyguard.
The extra security brought in for this ruling went into action herding people to the door. This wasn’t their first experience with this group.
I felt the pressure of Annie squeezing my hand. I could feel her eyes on me. I couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t take the pity I knew would be there. Right now I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move.
I couldn’t stop staring at him. There he was, his hand gripping his lawyers, causing the sleeve of his ill-fitting suit to ride halfway up his arm. It looked like something his lawyer picked up from goodwill. Despite protests from my friends, I chose to sit directly behind this man. I wanted him to know I was there. I wanted him to feel my hatred, my anger.
He glanced back at me, smirking. That bastard was smirking at me.
At that moment I knew I would kill him. I knew I would make him beg for his life and then I would kill him. The image appeared in my head like a movie. Maybe he actually felt the daggers coming from my eyes because he stopped smirking and looked away.
He shouldn’t have killed her. He shouldn’t have left me with nothing more to lose.