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130 The Jury's Out

For Thursday, May 9: Day 130 of the 2024 Story-a-Day Challenge

By Gerard DiLeoPublished 17 days ago 2 min read
"When do we get our retirement watches?"

It was the trial of the millennium: the People of Natchitoches, LA, vs Josiah Rebuson. After the defense rested, the jury retired to deliberate. That was over 30 years ago. No hung jury. No mistrial. Not even an inability to agree on a verdict--just the inability to do it in a reasonable amount of time.

Rebuson's public defenders, the law firm of Goatsky and Lambsky, weren't any good at defending people, but they were considered geniuses at picking juries. They leaned heavily on the unemployable who had everything to gain in making $50/day-- indefinitely. And by now, each had accrued over $375,000; and with no time to spend it, except on weekends when they had to cram in a whole week's worth of domestic obligations. It piled up.

The Journal of Public Defenders reported that there were over 200 trials still in deliberation under Goatsky & Lambsky representation--thousands of jurors in perennial deliberation.

It was easy work. Air-conditioning. Breakfasts, lunches. Even hot suppers at times. They were sequestered at the local 3-star hotel in town, enjoying room service and bar fridges. They frequented crime scenes in fancy motor coaches.

There were juror workplace romances, resulting in twelve "jury children." No one quite knows how, but some jurors served at more than one trial at a time, qualifying them for time-and-a-half.

Goatsky & Lambsky--G&L--often went on month-long vacations when their juries deliberated. Goatsky had even taken around-the-world cruises; Lambsky had chemo and radiation for cancer. Still, the jury remained "out."

Josiah Rebuson had been indicted on "conspiracy," which is how prosecutors catch people when they don't have any actual evidence.

That's it.

Decades in waiting, all media swarmed the courthouse when, increduously, it was announced, "The jury has reached a verdict."

It didn't go Rebuson's way.

"What now?" he asked.

"Well, Josiah," Lambsky answered, dripping with Southern charm, "how old are you?"

"76. Why?"

"The judge's gonna let you stay out on appeal."

"That's great!" Rebuson laughed, sputtered, and hacked.

"Appeals take forever working their way through the system."

Josiah hugged Lambsky, then asked, "Am I responsible for the jurors' unemployment?"

"Unemployment?! Dang, Josiah. We're talking pension for them. Me, too."

"Milk the system, Lambsky--you da man!"


For Thursday, May 9, Day 130 of the Story-a-Day Challenge.

366 WORDS (without A/N)

All pictures are AI-generated, but the verdict is not!


There are currently three Vocal creators still participating in the 2024 Story-a-Day Challenge:

• L.C. Schäfer, challenge originator

• Rachel Deeming

• Gerard DiLeo (some other guy)



About the Creator

Gerard DiLeo

Retired, not tired. In Life Phase II: Living and writing from a decommissioned church in Hull, MA. (Phase I was New Orleans and everything that entails. Hippocampus, behave!

[email protected]

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Comments (6)

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  • Christy Munson16 days ago

    I come close to submitting a story a day. Wish I'd known about it at the beginning of the year. I'm reading as much as I can, trying to support as many folks on Vocal as I can. Enjoyed the idea of your story today. Certainly a lot to mull over and consider!

  • shrey 17 days ago

    I enjoyed the story this is like the claim for path, with a happy ending.

  • Hahahhahahahaha I enjoyed the satire here!

  • John Cox17 days ago

    This is like a Louisiana twist on Dickens Bleak House - another forever trial but with a much happier ending. Great fun!

  • Lamar Wiggins17 days ago

    Lol. Perfect example of the insane amount of time and money it takes to litigate cases. Especially when the overwhelming evidence points to a guilty charge. Oh well, innocent until proven guilty prevails.

  • Kendall Defoe 17 days ago

    Oh, I like this! And I think we might be heading this way...

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