Voir Dire

It is the fourth day of the rapist’s trial. He sits flanked by three lawyers in gray suits. He wears black. A hundred men and women file dutifully into the room. They sit on an old oak bench.

The defense lawyer stands. He faces the people in the jury box and he clears his throat.

“Alright, everyone here who has ever been raped. Raise your hand.”

“Everyone here who’s ever been stalked. Raise your hand.”

“Everyone who’s ever been the victim of sexual abuse.”

“Who’s ever been harassed at work by a member of the opposite sex.”

“Who’s been pressured into giving consent because they were afraid of what would happen if they said no.”

The lawyer nods at the judge and the judge speaks. “You may go.”

Fifty women lower their hands and leave the room, while fifty men sit back down.

The man in the black suit smiles. The woman sitting beside the prosecutor prepares to face a jury of her peers.

 

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