A Statement of Justice "I'm innocent I tell you! I'm innocent!"ÃÂ The door slammed shut with a bang.
"Yeah, yeah tell it to the judge!"ÃÂ, declared the guard.
"I've been telling them I'm innocent from the day I got put in here."ÃÂ Leroy looked in the corner of the room and saw Paul sitting on the cold wet ground.
"But I am innocent!" shouted Leroy.
"Relax will ya! I don't want those guards to come back! The less I see of them, the better."ÃÂ "What are you in here for?"ÃÂ asked Leroy shakily.
"First degree murder. Some idiot claims he saw me kill a guy. Yeah right! How about you?"ÃÂ "They say I killed a grocery store owner and robbed the store. I didn't do it, but I know who did. I don't know his name but I know his face. I was there but I didn't do it."ÃÂ
"That's not gonna get you very far in this game."ÃÂ "I have to prove I'm innocent, I just have to. I have a wife and three children at home who need me."ÃÂ "Tough luck. I've been trying to prove myself innocent since the day I got in here."ÃÂ "How do you do that?"ÃÂ asked Leroy.
"You write a statement saying why you should get a trial and why you believe that you're innocent."ÃÂ "I work in an office! How am I supposed to do that!?"ÃÂ "You'll think of something."ÃÂ Leroy looked at Paul's face. He had a big cut on his forehead and one on his arm. Leroy himself had a bruise on his forehead, a cut across his left cheek, and a cut along his right arm. He didn't know whether or not to trust Paul. However you can't trust too many people in jail, so he decided not to trust him very much.
"Do I have to write it to any specific person?"ÃÂ "No, you just write it and one of the supervisors reads it and they decide whether or not it goes to the judge."ÃÂ "What am I supposed to write?"ÃÂ "What happened. Now, I over exaggerate a little myself."ÃÂ "Is that okay to do?"ÃÂ "Not really, but in my case it helps."ÃÂ Now, Leroy was a very truthful person, and wasn't too keen on lying. Paul, on the other hand, doesn't mind it at all! He can look you straight in the eye, tell a bold-faced lie, and not even blink. Leroy, however, couldn't tell a lie if his life depended on it! The worst he could do was tell a little white lie, and even then he flinched! "I think they're on to me though."ÃÂ said Paul.
"What do you mean?"ÃÂ asked Leroy.
"My statements, they seem to change a little each time."ÃÂ "Well, why don't you combine all of your statements?"ÃÂ said Leroy.
"That's a pretty good idea! I'll try it!"ÃÂ As they began to write, Leroy noticed that when Paul wrote, he seemed to scribble rather fast. Leroy, on the other hand, wrote slowly and carefully.
It was getting late and dark in the small cell. It seemed eerie.
"Where do we sleep?"ÃÂ asked Leroy.
"Look around. Do you see those bunk beds over there? That is where we sleep. You get the bottom, I get the top.
Early the next morning, around 6:00 AM, the guard came walking by with his keys clanking; clankety, clankety, clank.
"Rise and shine boys!"ÃÂ shouted the guard.
"Why do we have to wake up so early?"ÃÂ asked Leroy groggily.
"Today's Wednesday, we have to make license plates today."ÃÂ "I thought we just sat around here 24/7."ÃÂ said Leroy.
"You've been watching too many television shows!"ÃÂ said Paul.
"I wish that's what we did all day! We work long hard hours."ÃÂ Just then a siren went off.
"What's that!?"ÃÂ screamed Leroy.
"Oh, someone's just trying to escape. I happens everyday."ÃÂ said Paul calmly.
"Do they ever get out?"ÃÂ Leroy asked nervously.
"Two in every one hundred!"ÃÂ replied Paul.
The guard came over to their cell and unlocked the door.
"Come on you two! Let's go, times-a-wastin! So all day they worked. They worked hard. On one hand, Leroy took his time and made the license plates carefully. On the other hand, Paul worked as fast as he could. When Leroy had done two license plates, Paul had already done five.
At the end of the day, they were both working on their statements. At 11:45PM they decided to go to bed. As the climbed into their beds, Leroy thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye.
"What was that!?"ÃÂ whispered Leroy.
"What was that?"ÃÂ asked Paul.
"I thought I saw someone or something pass by."ÃÂ "Slater! Is that you? Come on out!"ÃÂ "Who's Slater?"ÃÂ asked Leroy.
Just then a tall dark man stepped out of the shadows.
"Who's the new guy?"ÃÂ Slater asked in a deep voice.
"Oh, this is Leroy. He's cool. What are you doin' out at this time-a-night?"ÃÂ "Tonight's the night man! I'm bustin' out!"ÃÂ "Are you crazy!? You saw what happened to Ted!"ÃÂ "What happened to Ted?"ÃÂ asked Leroy.
"He's the one who tried to escape this morning. They shot him right on the spot.
"I don't care. Anything is better than rottin' in this dump."ÃÂ Then, he disappeared.
A half-an-hour later they heard the sirens go off. Next, they heard a gunshot.
"Maybe it wasn't him."ÃÂ replied Leroy.
Although they both knew it was in fact Slater.
The next morning, they continued to write their statements.
"Finished!"ÃÂ declared Paul.
"How did you finish so quickly?"ÃÂ "I've had experience."ÃÂ "Well, I'm almost done anyway. So, what do we have to do today?"ÃÂ "Today, we have the day off."ÃÂ "So we just stay in here the whole day?"ÃÂ "Yep!"ÃÂ "Good I can work on my statement all day."ÃÂ "Yeah, and I can give mine to one of the supervisors."ÃÂ "Do you they'll like it?"ÃÂ "I sure hope so."ÃÂ So for the rest of the day, Leroy worked as hard as bee's work to build a hive. For three hours straight.
"There I'm done!"ÃÂ "Good, we can both give our statements to the supervisors at the same time. Hey guard! Come "ÃÂer!"ÃÂ "What do you want Paul?"ÃÂ "Can you take these statements to one of the supervisors for us?"ÃÂ "Fine hand "ÃÂem over."ÃÂ The guard took the statements and left.
An hour later the guard came back.
"Ey Paul! You get the trial!"ÃÂ "Sorry man, maybe next time."ÃÂ said Paul.
"Yeah, I guess. When's the trial?"ÃÂ "Tomorrow"ÃÂ Since it was already 10:56PM they decided to go to bed, because Paul needed a good night's sleep.
The next morning, when Leroy woke up, Paul was already gone. The guard came and took Leroy to do his daily jobs.
When he came back, Paul was there.
"You're out Leroy! You're out!"ÃÂ "I'm out?!"ÃÂ he said.
"I'm surprised you're saying that!"ÃÂ said the guard.
"Why?"ÃÂ "Didn't he tell you the rule?"ÃÂ "What rule?"ÃÂ "If you helped him with his statement, which you did, he can never get out of jail unless he serves his full term.
"You're kidding right? He's on a life sentence!"ÃÂ "Well, I guess he should have thought about that before."ÃÂ "You mean I'm out?!"ÃÂ "You bet."ÃÂ said the guard.
"I can see my family again!"ÃÂ "When can I leave?"ÃÂ "How soon can you pack?"ÃÂ So Leroy packed his bags as fast as he could and ran out of his cell. The bus stop was on the corner and the bus pulled up. He didn't even wait for it to stop. He just jumped on. He got home, ran to his family and hugged them. He decided never to go to that grocery store again!!