The Alchemy of Law, Life and a Woman with a Lil’ Bit of Gangster


“Your Honor, we all hate rapists. But do you know what people hate more than a rapist? A man who defiles his 12 years old daughter. I know if I were to share a cell in prison with a convicted child molester, I would cut their head off. But my client DMK is not a child molester. The prosecution has not established that beyond reasonable doubt. Heck, the prosecution has not established anything beyond any doubt whatsoever.”

As he talks, you are thinking of the Nissan Patrol he rode in this morning. That Nissan Patrol that must have set him back around 12 million shillings. You are thinking about the suit he is in. That must have set him back around 44,000 shillings. For a suit!

He is the kind of lawyer you detest. The kind that you didn’t go to law school to become. You call them showoffs, but they only say, “You Only Live Once.” So why not unleash that Patrol if you can afford it? Why not drive it around in designer everything from the suit, to the shoes, to the boxers, to the cologne…

He is good at what he does. Hell, he might even be better than you. He is approaching 30 and you just clocked 28. You lie to yourself that you will be as rich as him by the time you are his age. Then chuckle at the naïveté of the lie.

Someone walks through the door as the good advocate continues delivering his closing statement and you only realize that someone has walked in because of the loud cling clang of heels on the floor. The quick small steps of an infuriated woman. Your woman.

She always looks decent and sophisticated in skirt suits and she is donned in a grey one today and her long hair, normally scattered all over her face, is held at the back of her head by a tiny clip. Hell, she even manages to look like a lawyer.

The advocate is saying, “I have cited cases, I have cited the law and I have shown the court the issues that have not been addressed satisfactorily by the prosecution. We all frown upon some things. I frown upon rapists and child molesters. But justice frowns upon sending innocent people to jail. Someone took my client’s daughter’s innocence. Someone defiled her as can evidenced by her missing hymen. But that someone is not DMK or the prosecution would have found a way to prove that. My client has been wrongfully painted with a brush of prejudice, decadence and…”

The look on the woman’s face spells trouble. She doesn’t stop walking even after she gets to the front of the courtroom. She stands in front of the advocate delivering a closing statement and lands a heavy punch right on his jaw when he was in the middle of another moving sentence sending him staggering backwards.

The magistrate is yelling enquiries. And roaring orders. The woman doesn’t stop at one punch. She lands another on his tummy prompting him to bend over as wind escapes him, then she smashes his nose in with her knee sending him crashing on the floor. She could have proceeded to stomp him with her heels hadn’t the cops in the courtroom restrained her.

Her: (Yelling) You called my mom? You called my mom?! What the fuck man!!!!

She is kicking and fighting and struggling to be released so she can be allowed to proceed with the act of committing murder in open court. The battered man is stretched out on the floor laughing his head off with blood streaming down the side of his face from his broken nose and onto the floor.

The magistrate orders the officers to take the screaming woman down to the cells to allow her to calm down and is forced by these “unique circumstances” to adjourn the matter.

Thirty minutes later, you go down to the cells to see her. She is pacing around barefoot inside a cell packed with traffic offenders, prostitutes, drunks and all those other folks who are arraigned in court first thing in the morning just so they can plead guilty and be fined “faster faster”.

You: I see you transferred your club tendencies to the courtroom. Way to go darling. Way to go.

Her: He called my mom. That son of a bitch picked up the phone and called my mom.

You: Yeah? And what? Did he hit on her? Did he insult her? What’s got you so worked up?

Her: He called her! That’s what! She is grieving the death of her husband! I should shoot him with his own fucking gun. I am so pissed off right now. (She bends over as she lets out a loud…) FUCK!!!!

You can’t say that you didn’t feel a tinge of pleasure seeing her beat up her ex-boyfriend like that. Had it been up to you, you would not have stopped her right up until the moment when he was two kicks in the face away from death.

Her: You have to get me out of here.

You: No I will not. Why don’t you make yourself at home? I will come back at noon.

Her: If you leave me in here I will…

You: What? Shoot me?

Her: Dump you.

You walk right up to the bars separating you from her and you look her right in the eyes so she can see that you are drop dead serious.

You: Honey, this thing standing in front of you; this is one bridge you don’t want to burn. And in case you missed it, that right there is what a threat from me sounds like. Now find some nice place inside this cell and sit the fuck down. And just for running your mouth, I will pick you up at 1500h not noon.

Her: I will find someone to get me out.

You: No you won’t. I will hold your brief today and if you speak another word to me, I will make sure you spend tonight inside a police cell.

And you turn around and leave.

Thing is, if you beat an officer of the court up in open court, nobody is pleased. Not the bar and definitely not the bench. The cops will do what the bench says and right now, the bench is silent. The woman will be lucky if this doesn’t get her struck off the roll. But she isn’t worried. Not of that.

After that you have a talk with the nice magistrate. You went to the Judiciary Training Institute together but somewhere down the line, you decided it was a waste of time and quit; especially because you heard the government sends new magistrates to the remotest parts of the country. Not wanting to spend your late twenties presiding over mobile courts somewhere in Samburu, you decided instead to run around courtrooms getting the speed of your life dictated to you by cause lists and whether the other side is ready to proceed or not.

You strike a deal with the magistrate. If he lets her go and if the battered ex does not file charges, she must seek professional help for at least six months. You promise to see to it that she sees someone and at 1500h, she is released.



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