It had been quite a cold morning, and Mackenzie had been out on a morning walk. She was strolling around the pond in her neighborhood when a man in a wheelchair had come out to enjoy the beautiful morning. Mackenzie went up to the man and asked if he wanted her to push him around the pond. The man reluctantly agreed. As they set off on their stroll Mackenzie noticed that there seemed to be something poking out of the dirt. She left the man in the wheelchair and she went to go investigate. As she did, a boy came out of a bush and threw a brick at the man! The boy ran away and as he disappeared into the forestry an old woman came upon them and she assumed that it had been Mackenzie.
The next thing she knew, Mackenzie was in Juvenile Detention. It was two days before she would be sent to court. Mackenzie didn’t understand how the woman did not understand that Mackenzie was trying to help the man. She had tried to explain how the boy had thrown the brick, but the woman wouldn’t listen. She pulled the wheel chair away from Mackenzie and ran. The woman had seemed scared of her. Almost as if Mackenzie were a monster. It gave her chills when she thought of the boy running away from the man. She couldn’t understand why he had thrown the brick at the poor, disabled man. How could someone do such a thing? It was cruel and inhumane.
Mackenzie’s cellmate was a girl that was a bit older than her, maybe about fourteen or fifteen years old. Her name was Grace, but everyone called her ‘The Preacher’. She thought they called her this because she tends to talk a lot about how people can turn their lives around here. It didn’t make sense to Mackenzie at the time, but then she realized that other people were in Juvie because they actually did something wrong. It wasn’t just a mistake for everyone. She wondered what everyone had done to get into Juvie.
Later that night, she asked Grace what she had done to get into Juvie. “I stole a car. I took it from my neighbors. I regret it everyday. But now I get to tell everyone how they can change their ways, and turn to God. It doesn’t always have to be bad here, you know? Anyway, how did you get into here?” she asked Mackenzie. “A woman thought that I had thrown a brick at a man in a wheel chair. I didn’t, but no one believes me. Not even my own parents.” Mackenzie replied miserably. Grace tried to cheer up Mackenzie and take her mind off of it, but Mackenzie cried and cried. And for the first time in her life, Mackenzie realized that maybe some things don’t make much sense. But Mackenzie knew that this didn’t make sense, and that it wasn’t right. She decided that in court she was not going to be afraid. She was going to speak her truth and get to go home.
It was the day that Mackenzie would go to court. She knew this was coming, but she couldn’t seem to comprehend the inevitable future that was in her path. It wasn’t long until it was Mackenzie’s turn. Her stomach seemed as if it was doing flips. It churned, and churned. So much that Mackenzie thought she would throw up. She wondered why the man wasn’t in court. Then the judge said “I am sure you know, but the man in the wheelchair was Mr. Richardson. He was disabled, and paralyzed from the waist down. But somehow you felt the need to throw a brick at him and end his life.” The words hung in the air for a while. ‘End his life’. The boy had killed him. And she would be punished for his actions. “Sadly, Mr. Richardson was in line for a pair of prosthetic legs. He would be getting them today. It would have changed his life, but you so viciously took away his opportunity.” The words stung more than the words ‘end his life’. She burst out in tears. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t breathe either. She wanted to disappear. She wanted to stop time, and stay there and cry. But she couldn’t. Mackenzie stood. “Your honor, I didn’t end his life. I didn’t take his opportunity, and I certainly did not touch that brick.” she said firmly.
The judge was shocked. “Mrs. Richardson watched you throw the brick.” he replied. “No, your honor. She saw me helping her husband after a boy threw the brick at him.” Mackenzie corrected. “Mrs. Richardson, is this true? Did you only see this girl after the brick had been thrown?” the judge said as he motioned towards me. “Yes. It is true, but no one else was around. Just a fox in the woods.” Mrs. Richardson replied. “The fox was the boy ma’am. There was no fox. Just a boy.” Mackenzie spoke louder. “A boy who took a disabled man’s life. A boy who so viciously took his opportunity.” Even louder Mackenzie spoke. “A BOY WHO THREW A BRICK AT A DISABLED MAN JUST BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS A DISABLED MAN!” Mackenzie was screaming now. “I DON’T SEE THE REASON THAT THIS ACCEPTABLE AND WHY I SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR HIS ACTIONS. ESPECIALLY WHEN HIS ACTIONS ARE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!” The courtroom was silent. Mackenzie’s words stung even more than any of the words that had been said that day. Everyone began to clap. This was when Mackenzie realized she was standing on a table. She wasn’t sure how she got up there, but it seemed to make the message process. The judge was silent for about three more minutes after that. Finally he said, “Mackenzie I have decided that this case is closed.” the judge began screaming. “THE CASE OF MACKENZIE SMITH IS DISMISSED. SHE IS NOT GUILTY.” the judge lowered his voice now, “Mackenzie I will have the police work on finding the boy. Thank you.” “No, thank you, your honor.” she replied.
Mackenzie got to go home. She got to be happy. She got to be innocent. She was grateful. She swore that she wouldn’t forget Mr. Richardson. And she swore that she would grow up to be a judge. So she could clear the cases of innocent people, and punish the people that did wrong. But she would encourage them to turn their lives around. Mackenzie swore that she would be merciful. She never broke her promises.