Your heart is beating like crazy and it seemed like your heart is in your throat constricting it so that you could not breathe. So you hold the air in your lungs... waiting for the plunge!!!
THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM FEELING RIGHT NOW!!!
Beside my laptop, while I am typing this article, is an unfinished book of Sabin Willet, entitled "The Deal". I had to stop reading just to write about how it feels to be leafing through the pages.
What interested me to pick this book in the first place is the Chicago Tribune's description of the book that reads; "A worthy rival of Scott Turow and John Grisham." Now, I've read the books of the last two authors (I even blogged about one of them.. read it here) and it never failed to be a page-turner.
Courtroom drama has been one of the genres that I enjoy most in books. This book has everything in it.
The excitement starts at the picking of the jury. Oh, I know,some people would say that it actually starts with the crime itself, or to the legal wrangling of the defense to the prosecutor to provide the former with the latter's discovery, but I say it really starts on the picking of the jury.
This book would even explain the differences between different states with regards to jury selection. It relates that in California, the litigants would send a king's ransom to select a jury (kind of like what happened in The Runaway Jury by John Grisham) while in Texas, you can buy a juror's vote.
Once the jury is selected, then comes the prosecution's case. It tells the story of the crime. It would start with the general detail of the case, then going down further to the details. It will walk you through every second of the crime, before, during and after. Making sure that the trail of evidence is properly explained, to discount the possibility of tampering.
Everything is calculated. Nothing is missed. Did the victim eat? At what time? Where at? What did he eat? How many utensils did he use? How many bites?
It even comes with the forensics (are you thinking S.O.C.O?) wherein even the smallest fiber, a lint in the carpet, pebbles stuck in the car tires, fingerprints on the soap, etc., will be soberly, yet expertly tied up to the crime by experts/consultants hired at exorbitant fees.
When the government rests, the other party puts up it's defense, structurally knocking down every single evidence that the prosecutors have presented to try and put a reasonable doubt on the jury's mind.
Reasonable doubt! The defense only needs one juror to be given a reasonable doubt of the prosecution's charges against the defendant to set the man free.
It will parade it's own barrage of experts to refute and damage the credibility of the the other side. It will give alibis and will offer its own set of evidence to get their clients a Not Guilty verdict.
Within the hearing, you will experience a sudden surge of adrenalin while you accompany the lawyer of the defense shoot up in his legs and shout out it's objection to the callous way that the Assistant District Attorney (ADA) has maligned the defendant in the eyes of the jury. The prosecutors will try to test the boundaries in his line of questioning and put out insinuations that the defendant is guilty outside the permissible court standards, meaning without the backing of a solid evidence.
You will feel elation when the judge roars "Sustained" admonishing the litigator, or a slight disappointment when the judge decides the objection is "Overruled." You will wait with abated breath as the judge considers the merits of the objection and mentally consults the Rules of Court prior to ruling for or against either party.
So far, being nearly done with the book, I can say that the Chicago Tribune is correct in its description. My heart is pounding like a drumbeat. The steady and fast beat of the heart of someone anticipating the end of a story's climax.
It is now the moment of truth... The defense rests!!!
Next would come the closing arguments of both parties, the defense panel going first.
As the author writes the defense' closing arguments, I read it out loud. Picturing myself to be in the middle of the packed courtroom. The focus of every eye and ear. The courtroom is my stage and the people in it my adoring audience as I eloquently deliver the words that I hope would save my client (as I have long sided with the defense, duh!).
Together with the defendant...
For a guilty verdict, which would confine the accused to life imprisonment...
...or for an absolution!!!
Whatever it would be, another book would come to a close.