"Ein Gedi Eco System" by Amer Chess, July 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: "At once Yeshua realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched My clothes?' 'You see the people crowding against You,' His disciples answered, 'and yet You can ask, Who touched Me?'" (Mk. 5:30-31).
Ein Gedi Eco System
Taking afternoon off, Daniel Capra decided to help Arthur Yarrow and Rob Giles in their attempt to decipher the truth about children.
It was a pleasant afternoon in Eagle, Colorado and many native Indians fled away from tourists, leaving them at relative peace.
"Our legal system only works when decent people do the right thing." Daniel smiled at Arthur as he drank beer. "Unless his testimony might implicate him in some criminal act …", they watched some drunken native Indians drive in their pick-up trucks, "… he has a civic responsibility …"
"… and a legal one as well …", Rob added.
"That's right. And a legal one as well … to respond and to … testify."
Smiling police officers on motorcycles followed drunkards at safe distance, almost as if they were marketing their needs, promoting their behavior to tourists and "strangers" in town …
"So … my 14 year old son could be … arrested then?" Arthur was worried.
"As Rob have mentioned, he might be arrested if he fails to show and to testify as requested. Yes."
"Lord …" Arthur caressed his moustaches, enjoying glistening mountain vista in the distance.
"Oh, yes. If you have also been served …", Daniel noticed some suits and leaned over, closer to Arthur, "… in some states the parents are also served and ordered to produce the minor …", he withdrew, measuring Arthur, "… then YOU may face sanctions as well." Rob chuckled politely, trying to ease Arthur's stiff posture.
Daniel sipped his drink and then continued.
"If you want to keep him from testifying than you hire an attorney, give him a real good argument as to why testifying would be a dangerous proposition for him …"
"Also … a claim of, 'He's my friend', will not cut it …", Rob made a nod with his hat still on and Arthur winced as some reflection hit him right in the face.
"And the attorney can seek to quash the subpoena if he or she can." Daniel winked at Rob in secret, nodding at some blondes sitting at the next table.
Sound as of some rocks rolling down the hill could be heard. Daniel scratched himself, inhaled and then continued.
"Courts rarely have a sense of humor. And attorneys …", he grinned, closing towards Arthur, "… particularly prosecutors …", he withdrew, smiling at Arthur, "… do not typically issue a subpoena for a witness unless they have some idea what the witness has to say."
"And, yes, a 14-year-old CAN be sanctioned. That CAN include time in custody." Rob added, making Arthur even more tense.
"I heard that some have been ordered to take minors into custody in the courtroom and transport them to juvenile hall when they pulled crud like that, so I guess …", Arthur spat some dry tobacco, "… it does happen, eh?"
"I think that the best option for mom and junior is to hire an attorney to attempt to quash the subpoena with cause." Daniel continued slowly. "Hopefully they will consider the possibility that they might one day be victims of a crime and had best hope that a witness to that case does not decide to do what they want to do. When people refuse to participate, the system falls apart and anarchy reins." Sounds of native Indians still celebrating something was still audible. "We can either all participate, or, don't complain when crime runs rampant." Daniel chuckled harshly. "If you stand silent, then the criminal wins."
"I still worry about my son though …" Arthur grit his with his teeth.
"Contempt could find him sentenced to juvenile detention, paying fines, performing community service, house arrest or various other things …", Daniel finished his drink and leaned back, "… all accompanied by a juvenile record."
"Furthermore … the prosecution or the defense do not have to prove the witness knows anything at all! It does not work that way."
"Oh, yeah? …" Arthur looked at Rob.
"Well … if the child's parent hires an attorney that seeks to quash the subpoena they will present a reason as to why, and the requesting attorney may have to argue why the witness is important." Daniel measured Arthur in secret. "It is rare that a court will dismiss a witness under subpoena without some compelling cause. Not wanting to testify is NOT sufficiently compelling."
"And unless the requesting attorney is an idiot …", Rob continued, drinking his water, "… it is very likely that there is good cause to show that the witness knows something relevant." He simmered off. "Subpoenas are not issued in a vacuum. No decent attorney calls a witness that he or she does not have a good idea as to what they can or will testify to."
"If the witness makes a statement that runs counter to what he told officers or other people, he can find himself facing perjury charges ... or …", drunken native Indians passed by again, almost as if it was some kind of a parade, motorcycle police officers following them, "... facing charges for false reporting or obstruction for lying to the cops earlier. "
"The fact is you do not have to show WHY you might be incriminated, or even have anything incriminating to say, you can decline because your answer MIGHT incriminate you, perhaps revealing a violation of a law you don't even know about." Rob nodded couple of times as if persuading himself of something. "I can point people to a youcrude video where a law school professor says 'never speak to the police, under any conditions, period' and cites the 5th amendment right ...", he laughed at Daniel, "… you don't have to answer questions in court if you simply say you wish to assert your right not incriminate yourself ... however …", sound as of a large gun could be heard in the distance, "… as I would say … they would simply immunize the child and then require him to testify."
"Basically … you cannot refuse to testify against another legally, except in some states there are exceptions, such as a spousal exception. No child-parent exception that I know of anywhere though." Daniel paid and they moved away.
After driving for a while, they entered the National Park, inhaling freely.
"However …", Daniel noticed that Arthur looked less worried now, "… one can simply plead the 5th at any time, in any case." Rob made an affirmative nod as well. "You may be asked questions about another person but have a legitimate concern that you might say something that would incriminate you. That is true of children as well as adults."
They watched some signs warning not to feed bears and other animals.
"However …", they reached a place with spectacular view of the surrounding area, "… the prosecutor can grant immunity from prosecution based on your testimony, and in that case you cannot use the 5th." Daniel exhaled, noticing some eagles flying above them. "That is what would happen if a child in such a situation tried to plead the 5th."
Sound of a stream flowing freely inspired their senses. Sun was almost below the horizon now.
"C'mon now …" Arthur smiled at them. "It's time to go I guess …"
They threw one last look at the American natural beauty and then drove away.