Letter to the Legal Drama Division of the Center for Despotic Cinema (CDC)

President George Weah

.... Whether I'm making sense or not, I've told you CD Cinema people before that you all need acting lessons. Now, I'm tearing up your entire script and sending you back to the writers' room. Your story's slipper cut and it ain't goin' nowhere. Try again.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I present my compliments and congratulate you on the colorful spectacle that has transpired last week, under your direction.

The arrest of a former Chief Justice and her co-accused, now charged with murder, inter alia, was a dramatic move of epic proportions. I can see it now, set in an opera. Four women, slipperless and somber, marched in time towards the courthouse, having their case heard, and being ushered into the darkness of a filthy cell.

Drummers drum soft sorrows, as the chorus hums from the dimly lit edges of the stage.  The altos sing a somber counter melody underpinning the mezzo sopranic laments of the main character, soaring from her cell. A soft spotlight caresses her face like the moon reflecting a sun long gone. 

The heavy skies, pregnant with an impending downpour, punctuate with thunder the gravity of the moment. The clouds close in, suffocating the moonlight and, with it, all hope of the sun's return. End of Act One.

Man, that would be one helluva show! If only, that is, there weren't something missing that would have established the potency of the work. Legitimacy.

Before I proceed in explaining this, I must give you leave to ignore me, if you choose. I am not a lawyer; I am a retired couch potato, by profession. Aside from being a former police cadet (LAPD, hoorah!), I have watched way too much Law & Order and other cop dramas, and I think I know more than I really do. But I have learned a lot from those shows. 

Their popularity stems as much from their educational value, as from the producers' respect for the intelligence of their layman audiences. They know that few are experts in law enforcement, but most can spot a plot hole or inaccuracy, and call BS. 

They know we are learning as we go along and that we can also, you know, Google? And to make things more complex, we now have ChatGPT to add both nuance and nonsense to our understanding of any subject. So, from the audience's perspective, an implausible plot can turn a potentially epic tragedy into a flat farce. I say 'flat,' because a farce should be comedic. A preposterous story line is not an insult to spectators' intelligence if it's clear it's all a joke.

Such is my theory of the Musu Scott case. It is unfunny, unintelligent, getting old, and earning a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes.

You see, your storyline has so far cemented the innocence of the accused, with little room for a believable plot twist that would establish her guilt. There were multiple attacks at the Scott residence, on the nights leading up to Charloe's murder. The police reportedly failed to respond to reports of said attacks, let alone investigate them immediately after they had occurred. The defense essentially claims that no serious investigation has ensued in the (what, five?) months thereafter.

It also remains unclear how the police hav handled the crime scene, all this time. Was it immediately cordoned off to prevent contamination, until the close of the investigation? Does law enforcement now have the technical capacity and resources to investigate such cases?

I punctuated that last question with 'now' because we must consider the wider context of recent law enforcement practice. This government has publicly expressed a need for the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations to assist in nearly every major criminal case, over the last five years. It remains to be seen whether the Embassy ever received formal and specific requests for said support - especially regarding successive murder cases alleged to have been politically motivated, if not state-sanctioned.

Either way, the ruling establishment has made a point of sending up the FBI's name as a flare, in each instance. Was this perhaps a signal of confidence in its position? Why call these forensic experts, if you expect to be found guilty? Then again, why actually ask for their intervention, if you do?

Where is the FBI request, in this Musu- Scott case? Is world-class expertise not all the more necessary, given the caliber of the prime suspect - the former head of a whole judicial branch, who can school the very Justice Minister within an inch of his juris doctor? They certainly need capable hands on this one. See the empty sheet of an argument the prosecution made before Judge Blamo Dixon's court, yesterday.

The Constitution says suspects must be charged within 48 hours of their arrest. Yet the prosecution calls the defendant's writ of Habeus Corpus "premature," because it was not filed after 48 hours. Huh? I'm surprised the judge didn't dismiss the case outright, for sheer indignation at the insult to his intelligence and waste of his time.

In our underdeveloped institutional context, incompetence should be considered contempt of court, equal to disparagement and failure to appear. How else can we incentivize excellence in our legal system? How else can we save time and resources, given the long backlog of criminal cases that remain unheard of?

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. I should have started with the fact that the defense filed the writ with Criminal Court 'C'. The prosecution argues that the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter.

If this is so, then which court does? Possibly the court that should have been petitioned for a warrant for the arrest of the suspect, no? If Justice Scott's legal team had been served such a warrant, they would not have had to pick a courtroom out of a hat.

They would have known where to go to pray for their client's release. If they were not served a warrant, then the arrest was a breach of due process. Or am I missing something? See? Now I'm Monday morning quarterbacking*, and it's only Friday. This is what happens when you're a couch potato who refuses to go to law school. Like I said, ignore me.

Whether I'm making sense or not, I've told you CD Cinema people before that you all need acting lessons. Now, I'm tearing up your entire script and sending you back to the writers' room. Your story's slipper cut and it ain't goin' nowhere. Try again.