The foreman’s verdict thundered in my head like the roar of propellers.
I mentally reexamined my closing statement: The crash was accidental. My client’s plane hit treacherous turbulence. His oil line ruptured; he fell from the sky. This was not premeditated murder, but an Act of God.
Twelve men had seen through those shameless lies, but what could anyone expect? My client was a fighter ace, and a close childhood friend. I was the best man in his wedding. Now the battered American hero wept as the bailiff led him away in handcuffs. In the front row, his wife bowed her head.
“You tried,” the prosecutor said, patting my shoulder. “But he thought that his Hellcat wife was cheating, and he kamikazed the man’s house.” Not a word was untrue.
“You’ll push for the death penalty?”
“He’s guilty as sin. It’s my job.”
I wandered away from the courtroom. In the shadow of a marble pillar, his wife stopped me. “He’ll get the chair?”
“Yes.” My colleague was the best prosecutor in the state.
Then her cherry lips pressed against mine, as they had done so many lonely nights during the war. For all the lies the jury saw, they had missed the biggest lie of all.