“Overruled,” Judge Connor stated. “I cannot very well allow you to present a closing statement unless the defense does as well.”
“I take exception!” Senator Castillo demanded. “My statement is important and deserves to be on the record and heard in court.”
“Noted,” Judge Connor pointed out, “but there is no provision to allow the state to introduce a summation, if the defense has waived its right to a summation. If you wish to present your summation, Profesora, you will have to wait until after the court stands adjourned.”
Senator Castillo slowly sank back into her seat, and Senator Travis took his as well. Judge Connor turned to face the jury box.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he began his charge. “This is the case of the State versus Michael Philip Andrews where it is charged that the accused violated what is commonly known as the GAIA Act, that it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the gender definition adopted by any person, and to teach instead that gender identity has a biological meaning independent of any person’s chosen preference.
“To this charge, the defendant has pleaded not guilty and thus is made up the issue for your determination. Before there can be a conviction, the state must make out its case beyond a reasonable doubt as to every essential and necessary element of the case.
“By the phrase ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ I do not mean any possible doubt that might arise, or such a doubt as an ingenuous mind might conjure up, but by reasonable doubt in legal parlance is meant such a doubt as would prevent your mind resting easy as to the guilt of the defendant.”
Senator Travis rose, “Your honor, may I say a few words to the jury about the directed verdict the defense has requested?”
“Very well,” the judge agreed.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” Senator Travis began, “we are sorry we did not have the opportunity we desired to present all the evidence we wished to lay before you, and that much of the evidence we did present, you have been instructed to ignore.
“The court has held under the law that much of the evidence we had is not admissible, so all we can do is to take an exception and carry it to a higher court to see whether the evidence is admissible or not. As far as this case stands before the jury, the court has told you very plainly that if you think my client taught the biology of sex determination, and you think that conflicts with gender definition, then you should find him guilty, and you heard the testimony of his students on that question. This case and this law will never be decided until or unless it gets to a higher court, and it cannot get to a higher court unless you bring in a verdict of guilty.