Presumed Guilty

The buzzer’s hum stabbed through my thinned skin and into my weakened bones. A wall of iron bars passed in front of me and stopped with a banging jolt. My feet and hands in shackles, I shuffled forward to a small table at the center of the room.

Across from a well-groomed, bespectacled and stoic-faced man, I waited patiently as he thumbed through the many pages in his stack of folders. After finding and pulling a sheet out from the others, he held it in front of him and gazed at me over the top edge.

“Señor Zúñiga?”

With my head hanging low I stared at the steal cuffs clamping my hands. “Sí,” I said offering nothing further.

“Habla inglés?”

Seeing my fingers still marked with the blood I timidly replied, “Yes,” and hoped that he spoke English also.

“Did you do it?”

“I don’t know. – I think I did.”

He stood up from the table, put the files under his arm, turned and grabbed his jacket from off the back of the chair.

“Well I don’t think so! — And I’m going to prove that you – didn’t – do it.”

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