“Not only did the man before you in the dock indulge in the most shameful orgies on the day following his mother’s death. He killed a man cold-bloodedly, in pursuance of some sordid vendetta in the underworld of prostitutes and pimps. That, gentlemen of the jury, is the type of man the prisoner is.”
“In short,” he concluded, speaking with great vehemence, “I accuse the prisoner of behaving at his mother’s funeral in a way that showed he was already a criminal at heart.”
“I can prove this, gentlemen of the jury, to the hilt. First, you have the facts of the crime; which are as clear as daylight. And then you have what I may call the night side of this case, the dark workings of a criminal mentality.”
“This man has, I repeat, no place in a community whose basic principles he flouts without compunction. Nor, heartless as he is, has he any claim to mercy. I ask you to impose the extreme penalty of the law; and I ask it without a qualm.”
I didn’t look in Marie’s direction. In fact, I had no time to look, as the presiding judge had already started pronouncing a rigmarole to the effect that “in the name of the French people” I was to be decapitated in some public place.