Yesterday’s sentencing hearing played out like the end of a B-movie that we had long ago decided was beneath our standards of decency. Even though we knew the thing was a waste of time and an abuse of good taste, our eyes remained glued to the screen up ’til the pathetic, bitter end.
“Twenty-two years with no parole,” said the sorry actor who played the part of the unworthy judge. “We are pleased,” said the hack who played the sell-out defense attorney.
“Who the hell is ‘We’?” I muttered under my breath, still thinking of the eight bucks I’d wasted paying to get into this stale-air place with crummy seats and sticky floors.
The only performance which seemed to have any legs whatsoever was that of the young boy who played the part of the accused. “Listen! I promise I did not rape or beat Neily Shea. Please listen to me once. I don’t know who did it, but there were a lot of people in that house that night. Why doesn’t anyone check them?” he implored. “Justice has not been done.”
He’s right. This was a classic travesty of justice.
The house lights come up, I look around, and there is only one audience member whose gaze is still transfixed on the blank screen—a sad, solitary figure who I know will be back for the next screening, and the next, and the one after that. He is obsessed with one of the characters in this miserable film and cannot get enough.
Me—I’m out of here and never looking back. The next movie features an actor—a star—who plays a real-life Atticus Finch, and I hear this time the Tom Robinson character receives a fair trial and is freed.
Groove of the Day