HomeOpinion & AnalysisThe Fiddler: The original trial

The Fiddler: The original trial

The Fiddler

In the Bible God summarily tried Adam and Eve. Having given them a fair hearing, he found them guilty as charged and passed the sentence. He ordered them forthwith to remove themselves from the Garden of Eden, never to be allowed to return. Thus were Adam and Eve responsible for the introduction of sin on earth for all those who came subsequently.

Fortunately, lawyers had not yet invented themselves and God knew what deplorable creatures they would turn out to be when they’d let themselves loose on the unsuspecting public. Most of them would land up in hell and very few would make it into heaven.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to speculate on how lawyers would have conducted the criminal trial of Adam, Eve and the Snake if they had been available at that time. Maybe it would have gone something like this:

God v Adam and Eve

Before the Supreme Court of Heaven sitting in Heaven.

Presiding judge, God

Appearing for the prosecution, God

Appearing for the defence of Eve, Adv Fadzayi

Appearing for the defence of Adam, Mr Tendai

Appearing for the defence of the Snake, Mr Doug.

Charge

Adam and Eve are hereby charged with the crime of flagrant disobedience to God’s will in that acting singly and in concert they did commit the most heinous and despicable crime of unlawfully and intentionally partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil believing they would grow wise and God-liked. When they engaged in the aforementioned act of partaking of the prohibited fruit they did know full well that God had expressly and unequivocally prohibited them from doing this by saying, “You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die”. In consequence of this shocking act, you did mar the image of God within themselves, and passed that damaged likeness on to all of their descendants and transmit their sin by heredity to their descendants.

The Snake is hereby charged with most evil-doing in that being Satan he did with malice aforethought (his natural wont) assume the guise of a snake and did slither around the Tree of Knowledge making hissing noises that were intended to incite Adam and Eve to disobey God and did assure Eve, the only woman around at the time, that she would not die if she partook of the forbidden fruit. Thus did the snake plunge mankind and womankind into a state of sin in perpetuity, so that he could have more candidates to inhabit his fiery habitat.

Plea

The charges were put to the accused and Adam and Eve pleaded not guilty. (As even the interpreter could not understand the snake’s hisses the court recorded his plea as being not guilty.

Mr Tendai immediately made a highly impertinent and ill-advised application for God to recuse himself on the basis that by being both prosecutor and judge in this matter he had created a reasonable suspicion that he would be biased. The application was dismissed and Mr Tendai was informed that he was extremely lucky not to have been struck down by a bolt of lightning.

Prosecution case

God called himself as the sole witness. He testified that as an all-knowing and all-seeing God he knew exactly what the three accused had done, that is, they had deliberately tampered with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge when he had strictly prohibited this. In any event, the facts were common cause and indeed, were not even denied by the three miscreants. Therefore the prosecution had proved their guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution therefore closed its case without having to do anything other than to state the obvious.

Defence cases

Eve represented by Ms Fadzayi

I call Eve to testify.

“My Lord as you are aware you fashioned me from Adam’s rib and made me in your image. I freely admit that I ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge knowing that it was forbidden. I believe, however, that it must have known that a mere human like myself would be completely unable to resist the temptation to eat the fruit to gain the knowledge it offered and all I was doing was acting out his pre-determined role. I was also egged on by Satan masquerading as a snake. As soon as I had eaten the apple I realized that I was no longer innocent and I covered up my nakedness. I also admit I then encouraged Adam to partake of the fruit which he did,” but again this action was preordained.

Adam represented by Mr Tendai

I call as my only witness Adam.

Adam can you tell the court in your own words why you took a bite out of the apple.

“My Lord, I am eternally beholden to you for forming me out of the dust of the ground and fashioning me in your image. I cannot deny that took a bite out of the apple knowing that you had strictly forbidden this. I did so, however, because Eve offered the apple to me and incited me to sample it. I did not intend to disobey you but only partook of the apple because I was deceived and was not in my right mind.”

The Snake represented by Mr Doug

May it please the court, my client wishes to invoke his constitutional right to remain silent. In any event, we do not have an interpreter who can interpret snake hisses.

I will therefore not be calling any witnesses to testify for my client.

Submissions for the defence

For Eve

My Lord, I have no wish to offend you as I am aware of how foolhardy that would be. However, I have a duty to defend my client to the best of my ability.

When you gave my client free will this meant she had an inquisitive nature. The temptation to sample the forbidden fruit was overwhelming. I most humbly submit therefore that my client was suffering from an irresistible impulse and should not be held liable for her actions. At the very least she was suffering from diminished responsibility.

Secondly, as my client observed in her testimony she was simply acting in a preordained manner and therefore should not be held liable for her actions.

For Adam

My Lord, I earnestly submit that my client should not be convicted.  My client lacked criminal intent as he was suffering from a temporary mental disorder. Further, he was unlawfully trapped into partaking of the forbidden by the blandishments of Eve. As My Lord is aware men, being weak creatures, will in the future, again and again, prove themselves to be unable to resist the sweet talk of members of the opposite sex.

For the Snake

My Lord, firstly my client cannot be convicted because a reptile lacks criminal capacity and secondly if indeed my client is Satan in disguise this court has no jurisdiction over this matter.

Verdict in respect of all accused

Overwhelmingly guilty.

Arguments in mitigation

Both Adam and Eve have no previous convictions and are genuinely remorseful for what they have done. It is impossible to determine whether a snake is capable of remorse.

Sentence of the court

All three accused are hereby expelled from the Garden of Eden and must roam the earth knowing that Paradise has been lost and that their progeny will be begot into a sinful world.

Secondly, legal counsel for the accused are guilty not only of being lawyers but also of making spurious submissions that constitute grievous contempt of court. They are ordered to cease and desist lest they experience the wrath of God as well as be despised by men.

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