Guilty Until Proven Innocent | Teen Ink

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

April 21, 2016
By mem228 DIAMOND, Attleboro, Massachusetts
mem228 DIAMOND, Attleboro, Massachusetts
80 articles 5 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

     On April 18, 2014, Drew Playne was running late for work on the day of the foremost meeting of the year. He reluctantly moved into the breakdown lane on the highway on the way to his financing job and began climbing over the speed limit in an effort to attend as much of the meeting as possible. He failed to notice the pulled-over car with a flat tire sitting in that same lane until it was too late and slamming his foot down on the brake would only maximize the damage. He hit the car, killing both the husband and wife inside.

     "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?"
     "We have, Your Honor."
     "How do you find?"

I. The grandmother
     Melissa Polt's car went swerving onto the other side of the road during a blizzard many years ago when she hit a patch of black ice. She narrowly missed a truck heading the other way. Had she hit the black ice just a second earlier, her six grandchildren, the ones so deeply cherished by her, would not exist, and neither would the grandchildren of Tyler Brown, the owner of the truck.

II. The widow
     Georgina Kay was a 68-year-old woman who lost her husband at the hands of a distracted driver. Despite her broken heart, she still found it in herself to forgive the driver. The driver was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in jail.

III. The stay-at-home dad
     Nathan Messier had three kids, one more than the husband and wife had. He stayed home most days while his wife operated on heart patients. However, he was driving to the grocery store on April 18 after dropping his kids off at school, and he still remembered the traffic that day, because it was backed up for miles.

IV. The college student
     Michael Lupus was a fair-skinned, community college attendee who had received four speeding tickets and had had his license revoked twice. His excuse was sleeping through his alarm clock.

V. The businesswoman
     Selene Rosemary was a rule follower (as she had to be in business), and had never once entered the breakdown lane. She had caught her husband moving over once, and her anger at
him had boiled for days.

VI. The dog-lover
     Louis Grayfield had three dogs, each rescued from a terrible situation. One was found in a ditch, one, starving, was picked up from the side of the road, and the other was found wandering the streets of a wealthy neighborhood. Louis was the one who found the dog on the side of the road after he had nearly hit it, thinking it was a trash bag.

VII. The football coach
     Cade Awning had played football until his college years, and in his whole football career, he suffered four concussions. The fourth concussion was the deciding factor to stop playing and start coaching, but only after he had woken up in a hospital room and called for security. Cade believed there was a random man standing over him, a man that he realized after fifteen more minutes was his father.

VIII. The high school dropout
     Kerry Porsh never attended her senior year of high school, so that she could work and attempt to care for her sick mother. For the next twenty years, she worked two or three jobs and almost got fired from every one of them as she struggled to balance her mother’s care and her only source of income.

IX. The janitor
     Harry Wester had been cleaning the halls of the same high school for fifteen years. He had never once arrived late to work, and had never taken a sick day. He smiled at the students and greeted all of the other faculty members so pleasantly that he had once won Staff Member of the Year.

X. The science teacher
     Justina English had only recently returned to her teaching job at a middle school after going on maternity leave. She had adopted two kids from Haiti after both of their parents had passed away suddenly, leaving the children to be orphans. Justina taught Newton’s laws of motion to her class.

XI. The orphan
     Jasmine York was found in a cardboard box on the steps of a Church when she was two months old. Her parents had never been identified. She had spent three years in the foster system before she was adopted, but she had never given up hope of finding her biological parents. She believed in the goodness of those parents, and believed that they had no other choice but to give her up.

XII. The son
     Mark Franger had been raised by a widower, and had spent his whole childhood not playing baseball or football, but instead playing the son, especially when his father needed someone to love him the most. He spent his adult life trying to make sure that his father wasn’t alone, even attempting to set up dates for him. He had spent so much time making sure his father ended up okay that he had never married or had children himself.

     "In the case of Drew Playne versus the state of Massachusetts, on two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, we the jury find the defendant innocent."

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