Expecting to receive an immediate and detailed explanation concerning a reported deviation from normal conviction rates, Federal Justice Engineer, Brian Harrison arrived at the Winston-Salem office of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina at precisely fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled meeting time. A brown-eyed female android wearing a short blue dress, and with a set of synthetic legs that hindered Brian’s capacity for short-term concentration, directed him to the second floor office of U.S. District Attorney Susan Randall, granddaughter to 2032 Senate elect, Barry J. Randall. Knowing that Susan’s photographic memory coupled with an intuitive ability to analyze facts and figures, Brian supposed this ruckus to end quickly.
Yet confusion ruled the meeting. Susan lacked answers. The Judges lacked details. And the representatives from Citizens For Justice With Mercy (CJWM) seemed almost joyful over the complications. Federal Justice Engineer Brian Harrison had never conceived so many ruckuses out of something so routine. After ten minutes of preliminary greetings, the balance of the meeting produced exactly seventy-eight minutes of worthless excuses, conflicting reports, and a conclusion that threatened the very existence of the U.S. Justice For All Assurance court program.
It went somewhat like this:
The nine o’clock meeting included members from the N.C. Judicial Case Monitoring (NCJCM) council, four representatives from CJWM, Mr. Jeff Branson from the Raleigh Systems Oversight management team, three duly registered android U.S. District Judges, Susan Randall, and one Brian Harrison. It began with fresh coffee, general introductions, routine conversation, and an excessively noisy air conditioning vent. It ended in turmoil.
All of the people attending the meeting, including Brian, engaged in an obsolete judicial task. Their jobs stood in title only. Since legalization of the Instantaneous Thought Scan (ITS) technology, and the enactment of the U.S. computerized Justice For All Assurance program, the human role in both local and national court processes had been reduced to routine follow-up, confirmation of system accuracy, and the accumulation of government court statistics. In the past sixteen years, the U.S. court system had functioned without a single sign of error or failure.
But when Susan Randall took control of the floor and began to speak, Brian’s trust in the current digitally managed justice system took a sudden back step. Yet even as Susan dropped the verbal bomb that singed his nerves, Brian also felt a strange tingle of inner thrill. Can my job take on meaning, he wondered?
“I’ve reviewed this from every angle,” Susan said. “It’s bad. In the past six months, the number of dismissed cases involving violent behavior has increased by thirty-four percent above national state average.” Then she paused, as people sometimes do when completely at a loss for words. Yet none of the waiting committee members ventured to intervene. It was like everyone sensed a brewing storm over which they lacked voice or power.
Obviously Susan had reached some type of impossible conclusion, a conclusion that she seemed in fear of voicing. Thus Brian wanted to help, to be a hero, to step out of his personal mundane daily routine and come up with words that would rapidly calm the situation. Yet in lacking any hint behind her tension, he too could only stare and wait.
Then it came: Susan lifted both hands palm-up while slowly shaking her head from side to side, and just said it. “In every case the dismissal is due to conflicting testimonies between eyewitnesses and/or video and the ITS on the perpetrators.”
Conversation erupted across the room. Susan bayed it down. “Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished Judges, the facts cannot be disputed. Our national Instantaneous Thought Scan software is returning multiple conflicting results. The revealed memories of suspect perpetrators do not match the words of eyewitnesses nor the evidence as presented by available audio/video surveillance equipment.”
Amidst the many rebuttals from the NCJCM, one Edward Clark from the CJWM, a thin man with white hair and dark sideburns, stood to his feet. “We told you,” he said. “This computer justice system is a scam. Without mercy in the courts, there can be no justice for all. And now you admit that ITS software has been returning conflicting memory reports. It’s unacceptable. Just plain unacceptable!”
Clark’s rant, of course, drew instant defense from the Raleigh Systems Oversight manager. “Twice a month,” he said while smacking his palm flat down against the oak conference table before rising to his own feet. “You hear me. Twice a month our team performs a full data, digital, and electro-mechanical reliability check on every unit, micro-link, wifi connection, calc-bank, security link, and acting Judge within the N.C. division of the U.S. computerized Justice For All Assurance system. There can be no system failure!”
And then, lifting the same hand that had just echoed against the tabletop, Jeff Branson raked a pointed finger across the air taking in the members of the NCJCM as well as the four representives from the CJWM. “I assure you: Digitally, mechanically, and…” here Jeff swept his finger in the direction of the Judges, “synthetically there are no malfunctions in this system.”
“Sit down,” Susan demand, “all of you. This is not going to be about fault and blame. We are looking at a serious breakdown in the N.C. District Justice system, and none of us have the necessary training or experience for addressing the matter.”
Surprisingly, people responded positively. The two on their feet took a seat. All stares turned to Susan. Everyone waited. And as Brain inwardly pondered the mystery of it all, Susan made an announcement that rocked his already explosive thought patterns.
“We do, however,” she said, “have in our presence the one person with a doctrine in Federal Justice Engineering. Care to take the floor, Brian?”
As Susan’s eyes gazed directly on him, Brian pondered the prospects of that same expectant look while doing dinner by candlelight. How long had it been since anyone counted him, his job or even his life as worthwhile? Face it, Brian, you’re bored sick with daily routines. This whole incident opens a brand new world of opportunity, including the chance to score points with the nation’s most intelligent, beautiful and sensual U.S. District Attorney.
Breathing deep from his belly, he smiled and then stood to his feet.
All eyes turned in his direction, including those being synthetic in nature. They’re odd, Brian thought concerning the eyes of the Judges, They project judgment like deep waters without life or mercy. Are you really an enemy to honest justice?
Without moving a muscle, he shook off unexpected feelings of guilt. Just keep the system working – that’s all Justice Engineering involves. Let the CJWM worry about civil rights and all that rot.
“For the first time in U.S. history, the court systems function smoothly and efficiently – and without accumulating a lingering backlog of cases,” he said. “With the advent of the Justice For All Assurance Program, even the most complex court process gets resolved in less than ten minutes. Other than tracking cumulative outcomes as a means for keeping the CJWM off our backs…” he ventured to smile in the direction of Edward Clark, “even you NCJCM people have nothing to do with actual case management and processing.”
Glancing toward Susan, he noted her reactions while seeking to read whether she agreed with his choice in direction. He came up empty.
“The expense, profits and abuse derived via the obsolete and intrinsically slow legal process dominated by human beings, paperwork, and legal loopholes no longer rips away the power and effectiveness of the Sixth Amendment. Universal and reasonable legal price guidelines eliminate the court-based financial divisions of yesteryear. Without the need for high-performance lawyers, justice has truly become equably affordable to all U.S. citizens. As a nation, we finally have full control over the cost of legal defense, necessary court personnel, and all the previous stacks of senseless middlemen. The little man who gets stung by the big man no longer loses just because he cannot afford the cost of filing and pursuing a lawsuit. But most import of all: With the legalization of ITS technology, incidents of unresolved violent crime have ceased to exist – at least until this issue of abnormal conviction rates hit the wind. Now… all of us are basically in water over our heads.”
Suddenly aware that the blowers in the overhead AC had finally shut down, Brian wondered if he was sweating. Hot in here now, he thought. None of his audience, including Susan, showed any signs of response to his words. Maybe they were thinking, or maybe they thought he was merely rambling nonsense.
But it’s true, said his internal thought voice. We are in over our heads.
“Without the errors, the haste, the manipulation, and the loosely applied “truth” as presented by human attorneys, the essence of pure justice finally reaches every citizen in the U.S.”
Every representative from the CJM group laughed as one. Brian momentarily faltered. Stop kidding yourself, Harrison. This isn’t churning the think tank. In the face of disaster, these folks don’t want you rehashing a known history lesson – and certainly not a history touting victory wherein they find great failure.
He almost sat back down. But then he felt a sudden invisible strength on the air, a support that somehow lifted from within just because Susan was watching and smiling. So he carried on, rambling out history as though it made a difference.
“Acceptance of ITS technology forced a full overhaul of the Fifth Amendment. But citizens adjusted, even come to recognize the value of unbiased justice via directly acquired memory evidence and memory testimony. When coupled to enforced judicial written law, court precedent, and the infallibility of instant thought scans justice finally overcome the faults in the rights so-called of the Fifth Amendment.”
“It didn’t start out easy, but after the first six years of battling citizens, politicians, lawyers, and tech—bugs, the U.S. computerized Justice For All Assurance program has functioned flawlessly for fourteen years running. And now, at a time when justice is rightfully and in-deed equally accessible to all, we come face to face with an abnormality.”
Now comes the leap, he thought. Go from problem solving to implementation of ideas.
“I just defined the problem. Now it’s time to brainstorm, pick some ideas, and implement. Can we do it?”
After multiple self-diagnostics, the Judges proclaimed complete competency in all cases. In spite of his previous assurances, Jeff Branson had ordered his team to recheck system operations. Conclusion: confirmed system reliability in software, hardware and electrical input controls.
Also reporting back after further study, Sharon confessed that she could find no errors in the case reports as recorded by the JCWM. For some unexplained reason, the rate of case dismissals passing through the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina had dropped to four times below national statistics. And no one had an explanation.
Want you to write from here… End conclusion is simple: Recent new criminal technology – defined as the The Clintonian Overlay – enables who are willing to pay a monthly fee with the capacity to instantaneously download new location and situation selective false memories. Furthermore, this system enables people to lie without guilt or fear.
During the investigation, Brian will encounter physical obstacles – this to include a physical attempt on his life.
He will also learn that the new criminal technology enables manipulation of the memory of unsubscribe persons. In fact, Brian’s own sudden and growing sense of sympathy toward the CJWM will lead him to suspect that someone is tampering with his own mind. Yet he may actually be enduring a change in his personal belief system.
Throughout the whole of the story, Brian’s infatuation? Lust? Desire? Love? for Susan Randall must be explored to a conclusion… satisfactory or not.