Accusal

This is the transcript of Jean Higgins’ final statement to the court, following the jury’s verdict of “guilty”:

“Guilty? Am I guilty? Am I not an innocent man? I recognize in this court the same woeful inadequacies that plagued the snakes I stand accused of smashing to petite reptilian pieces. You are limbless. You are cold-blooded. There is no fire in you, no hope of reaching for the truth. The greatest achievement you will ever manage is wrapping yourselves around each other and wiggling your way to consensus. Yes, blame me. Yes, sentence me. Yes, call me crazy. Was John Brown crazy? Your history books tell you yes, but he was simply a man who could not stand injustice. He knew he had not a hope in Hell of escaping the hangman’s noose and I knew the moment my boot slipped in all that congealed blood that Hell was laughing at the meager thing I’d done. Or did not do.

“I am an innocent man. Were I guilty of the crime I stand accused of I would still be an innocent man. I do not recognize this court’s authority to judge my conscience right or wrong. Every man makes his own peace and my peace has been made with the rodents. Ask yourselves, where were the cheers coming from that day? When they pulled me from the pet shop, were the mice not applauding? Were the mice not flinging themselves against the glass in protest of my assaulting security? They treated me like some kind of lunatic, but the mice were screaming! It was faint over the sound of the dog whistles but unmistakeable! Like the wailing of a lobster in a boiling pot! Get your hands off me! Can you not hear it now? The television in the next courtroom being played for Exhibit A? They were screaming for mercy, do you not understand? You monsters! Unhand me, officer! You bloody minded fools! You snakes! ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory of [unintelligible…]'”

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