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Opening Statement for the prosecution

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Opening Statement for the prosecution May it please the court, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? My purpose today is to help you anticipate what you will hear over the next few weeks as you listen to the evidence. I simply want to give you an overview of this case. And I thank you for your patience and undivided attention in advance. The defendant, Captain Collingwood, is charged with a very serious offence, murder and the consequences are most severe. Captain Collingwood was left in charge of the vessel, the Zong, which set sailed from the African Coast to Jamaica with 470 African slaves. Assorted weather conditions and bad navigation by the defendant unfortunately stretched the voyage to twice its usual length. ...read more.


Do we all not value and guard our lives with a fiery passion? Evidently, Captain Collingwood values his life exceedingly and yet, he is very much prepared to sacrifice the lives of others for the sake of greed, for his own monetary gain. Imagine what the abandoned slaves must have felt. Their cries of grief and pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears. They wept till tears would no longer come, these men and women alike. Like us, they treasure their lives, and they too, would desperately harbor a fragment of faith in however bleak a situation in hope that, they could somehow, live on. They reached for safety and a chance to survive, but they were none. ...read more.


Sadly, the truth remains that, they had died in vain for there is no justification for Captain Collingwood's actions whatsoever. When he had set out to commit such tyranny and cruelty, clearly, he has declared war on humanity. And if there must be a defense to this, it must be insanity, for I cannot conceive of how anything short of dementedness that could drive a person to such bestiality. Your duty, ladies and gentlemen of the jury is to ensure that the innocent be not punished and for the guilty to expiate for their crimes. Thus I leave this solemn task in your capable hands. And I will prove to you, in the days to come, that the defendant is guilty far beyond a reasonable doubt and I cannot and will not rest until justice prevails. Thank you. By: Sylvia Ching-Ye Kong, Sharon Hui Hui Yeo and Esther Eu Boon Chai Date: 12th July 2004 ...read more.

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