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By William Bernhardt

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But did she want it to be over this way? She pressed her hand against her temples, trying to ease the pounding that had almost incapacitated her these past few days. That was the difficult question, the one that was tearing her apart. Where was Sheila, anyway? Somehow, in this mass confusion, she had lost Sheila. Moving toward the north entrance, she saw another group of demonstrators, smaller and quieter than the anti-death-penalty crowd. A placard informed Erin that they were a homicide survivors group.

Ben approached the bench. "Your honor, this was an illegal search, without probable cause. " Kearns didn't hesitate. " Bullock raced to the front. "This little courtroom prank has no bearing-" "Don't bother, Mr. " "But this witness is an honest, truthful servant of-" "Mr. " Kearns aimed his gavel in the direction of his nose. "Throughout my career as a judge, I have always shown a great deal of respect to the representatives of the district attorney's office. " He slammed down his gavel. " For the first time since the trial began, Ben did not have to push his way through a mob of reporters to get out of the courtroom.

She would find a way. The handcuff around her left wrist was what pinned her down. She could feel the other cuff; it was attached to some kind of metal ring embedded in the floor. If she could get it off her wrist, she would be free. But she couldn't. She had tried for hours, days, since she had awoken and found herself down here. She couldn't get out. Her hand was too big. She recalled reading that wild animals caught in a trap would chew off their own limbs to escape. She didn't think she could do that.

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