Beyond Reasonable Doubt

a poem by tobias kerins, UK

I went to Court, for Jury Service
I don’t think, I’ve ever been that nervous
The Judge came in, the Court it rose
I was on the case, right on my toes

Until that time, I had no idea
Of just what matter, would here appear
With charges read, my body shook
This was murder, no small-time crook

I briefly glimpsed, towards the dock
Where I received, a culture shock
This man was mighty, this man looked mean
Would he walk free, or guillotine

Men in wigs, their cases built
One for innocence, one for guilt
They witnesses called, exhibits showed
In the eyes of the Law, they quietly glowed

Prosecution fished, so neatly spoken
Angling for, a Defendant broken
When the time was right, he reeled in the hook
The Defendant bit, how to catch a crook

Defence stood firm, upright and strong
Their duty not, to prove others wrong
But to state the facts, and create a case
That the murderer had, a different face

The arguments boiled, steam created
Prosecution, remained unabated
He spoke to me, was so sincere
Chilling words, filled with fear

Defence stayed calm, a tranquil manner
And then threw in, a vital spanner
Things were not clear, there was much doubt
He urged the Court, throw this case out

I then considered, knew I must think
My decision meant, float or sink
Forget my scare, of how he appeared
Men in wigs, my decision steered

Beyond reasonable doubt, I must be sure
Of my decision, all times secure
No room for error, can’t rewind the clock
It’s do or die, for the man in the dock

We retired from Court, and the case discussed
Who to believe, just who to trust
Was he innocent, should he walk free
Or do I convict, of this tyranny

We all returned, and the Foreman rose
My veins they tightened, I nearly froze
The Court was quiet, the question asked
Guilty or not guilty, with what we were tasked

The emphasis was on, beyond reasonable doubt
I was exhausted, almost burned out
I had listened and learned, breathed in and exhaled
But to me in this case, Prosecution had failed

My fellow jurors, the same decision reached
No law the defendant, in this case had breached
So from the dock, he got up and walked out
And all because of, beyond reasonable doubt

Don’t judge a book by its cover, it just goes to prove
Matter over mind, is the checkmate move
Serious trials, must be emotion free
A difficult job, when on a jury

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