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He turned to the jury with a wide eyed expression, shrugging with his palms up.

“Now, I’m no fancy lawyer from the big city, but it seems kinda obvious to me that the witness would have some trouble identifying a man here in this brightly lit courtroom, and sayin’ he’s the same man she saw on a dark, moonless night, from across the street, when she wadn’t even wearing her glasses. Am I right?”

The jury kept silent, but there were a couple of almost imperceptible nods.

He tucked his hands into his pocket and sauntered back to his desk. “I have nothing further, your honour,” he said.

“Redirect,” the opposing counsel said, standing up. She walked slowly towards the witness, rubbing her hands together thoughtfully.

“It is true, isn’t it, that it was a dark moonless night when you saw the attack,” she said to the witness.

“Uh, yes, it was,” the witness said, pushing her glasses up her nose nervously.

“And it is true that you witnessed it from across the street,” the lawyer continued.

“Yes,” the witness said.

“Do you usually wear glasses? As a rule?”

“Yes I do,” the witness said, nodding. “I can’t see past my nose without them.”

“And on the night in question?”

The witness paused, as if knowing the effect of what she was about to say.

“No. I was wearing contact lenses that night because my frames had broken.”

“And these contact lenses give you the same level of vision as your glasses?”

She nodded.

“I would like to bring it to the court’s attention that in Miss Pearson’s statements to the police, and in her testimony today, she has until this moment never mentioned the fact that she was wearing contact lenses rather than her prescription spectacles.”

The lawyer let that sink in for a moment, as she crossed the courtroom back to her desk.

“Ladies and gentlemen. If the defendant wasn’t there that night, as he claims, then I might wonder how he knew that Miss Pearson happened not to be wearing her glasses that night?”

She folded her arms and allowed herself a little smile. It really was too easy when the perps decided to defend themselves.

© Kari Fay

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