riday last week we attended the trial of former watch sergeant Ford. The trial itself was quite long but I will try to keep my account of it somewhat brief. The prosecution was led by Corporal Halden of the City watch and Ford was represented by a man of his own choosing, Councillor Jupp.

The charges:

Corporal Halden started off by giving us a summary of the five charges against Ford, as follows:
Chapter one: Murder, using a standard issue truncheon - against a yet unnamed Kul Tiran Chapter three: Impersonating a Watchman. This is in reference to the accused proclaiming himself as a law enforcement officer within the region of Redridge. Chapter four: Possession of contraband, Stolen Property. This is in particular reference to the hoard of assorted loot discovered by the Watchmen in Stonewatch Keep. Chapter five: Gross misconduct by a Watchman or other official This is in reference to no single specific act, but instead, a combination of acts which we believe collectively constitute gross misconduct. This includes: Accepting multiple bribes whilst operating in Stormwind and the forming of a non-registered law-enforcement outfit named ‘The Nefarious Watch’ in Redridge Mountains. Chapter six: Mediocre Treason. This is specifically in reference to the organisation and lending of aid and succour – shelter, training, guidance, organisation... and weaponry - to enemies of the Kingdom. Namely, the membership of the Nefarious Watch, which included ogres, kobolds and gnolls. Whilst this is usually considered High Treason, we believe the act was carried out fairly ineffectively.
I would just like to clarify that this is not a typo on my part, there was no number two! Perhaps there was an extra charge the prosecution forgot to bring up or maybe he just has something against the number two, hard to tell. Anyway, we moved on to hear the defence’s opening statement and it quickly became clear to me that Ford didn't stand a chance at winning his case. Councillor Jupp didn't seem to have a clue what he was doing and instead of refuting the charges, his entire statement was to tell us how amazing he thought Ford was, clearly hoping to charm the crowd instead of offer a single fact or piece of defence for his client.

Witnesses and evidence:

The witness statements and evidence against Ford was pretty conclusive on most accounts and the defence continued to prove utterly useless, offering no evidence in Ford's defence. The only charge of which held any uncertainty was the murder charge. Now during the questioning of the witness to this murder, Ford took over his own defence as his lawyer proved completely incompetent and did not seem interested in cross examining the witness. The witness, Hadrian Tressel, had already told us that he was present when Ford beat the Kul Tiran male to death with his truncheon. Although Ford was given permission to question the witness, he actually asked no questions instead used this as a chance to testify. Claiming it was self-defence and also that the witness had aided him in the murder:
“Ladies and gentlemen, it was -this- man, Hadrian Tressel, who aided me in the ACCIDENTAL murder of the footpad!”
It is unclear whether or not there was any truth to his words as no further questions were asked. But at the very least Ford had just admitted to manslaughter. And yes, he also claimed it was self-defence but we were offered absolutely no evidence to support this, only the defendant’s own statement.

The verdict:

But did the judge agree? After seeing all the evidence and hearing all the witness testimonies the judge, Yohn Middletown wanted to hear from the crowd. I admit, this is the first trial I have attended, but is this a normal procedure? Anyway, he once more listed each of the crimes, waiting in between each to give the crowd a chance to shout out, innocent or guilty. Quite unsurprisingly the majority of the crowd believed him guilty of each charge. After he was finished with this odd proceeding, he went on to give his verdict.
"I find the evidence on all charges overwhelming! Except one. I therefore find you guilty of all charges except the one of murder! The prosecution did not manage to convince me that you did not act in self-defence."
I am not sure I agree with this verdict, as stated before there was also no evidence that it was self-defence and even if it was, then the man was hit multiple times over the head until dead. You would have thought a seasoned watchman like Ford claimed to be, would be able to defend himself without murdering someone. I would like to say that this is the only point in which I disagreed with the judge, but I am afraid it gets worse:
"As to your punishment! I feel that your mediocre treason is the heaviest charge, outweighing the others. However, the particularly poor way you committed it makes me question if you would have done so without the murder charge. Still, we can show no leniency to traitors! The Alliance should have your head! But we shall be lenient, and give you a chance ...”
The contradiction in this last sentence leads me to question the man's competence as does the rest of his sentencing:
“The Jasperlode Mine in Elwynn Forest has recently been overrun by kobolds. One particularly vicious kobold has already killed three of his majesty's guardsmen. You will, in your former watch uniform and equipped with a cudgel, and most importantly, by yourself, attempt to cleanse the mine of this infestation. You will succeed or die trying. If you succeed, you shall serve only one month in the stockades. If you fail, well ...”
I am quite baffled by this punishment as it depends entirely on the accused's skill. If he is skilled enough to survive, he gets off with only a one-month sentence in the stockades for manslaughter, treason and multiple other offences. Is this really justice? The general public in attendance did not seem to think so, one such man, Lord Anakhor Eclipse had this to say:
“The trial is, as most would say, a circus of stupidity with the final verdict being flawed from top to bottom. It's an insult to all the victims of his criminality. Imagine having gone through hell because of someone and later on being spat in your mouth by the justice system meant to punish the bastard.That's what happened today.”