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To David and Jenny, With Love

Yes! I admit it. I shot that man in the face. And I say, I'd do it again. Because I knew! Deep down in my heart of hearts, I knew that he was after my daughter.
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To Dave and Jenny with Love,

The following is a direct transcript from the testimony of Ms. Caroline Schwartz, speaking in her own defense in Albany, NY -- case # 1009234, The State v. Caroline Schwartz.

My lawyer would like me to inform you that he has recommended I not deliver this speech. That bout of contention is why that man no longer represents me.

Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, esteemed representative Gonzalez of the prosecution - I know how things look. Right now, you look at me, an attractive, strong woman of her early to mid forties (you'd never have guessed!) and you say to yourself, "She's not afraid of anything! She can handle herself!" Well you'd be right... and you'd be wrong. I do fear, never for myself of course, but for that child sitting right there in the forth row. My daughter Hannah. Yes, I know, I don't look old enough to have that child, but she's mine. Hannah is... my life. And when that man, that black man, stepped in front of us, I knew he was hungry for her life.

Yes! I admit it. I shot that man in the face. And I say, I'd do it again. Because I knew! Deep down in my heart of hearts, I knew that he was after my daughter. Because I'm a mother, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I'm a mother, your honor. And there are certain things that mothers just know.

The prosecution will try to point out the fact that he was wearing a three piece suit and carrying a briefcase and cup of coffee. They will point out that he was clean shaven and seemingly just hurrying back to his office building. They may even try to sway you by pointing out that he worked in the same office building as I did, and that probably we passed each other on the way to the elevator almost every day. But ladies and gentlemen of the jury, your honor, do such thoughts sway you when the life of your daughter is at stake? I saw a man coming to do harm. I saw evidence of that harm all across his face, from his eyes to his six foot two frame. And when I grabbed my concealed weapon from inside my bra and shouted "Back off, Thick-Lips!" you know that my heart was in the right place.

Because I'm a mother, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I'm a mother, your honor.

The prosecution may try to point out that I have a history of violence against people of color. They may try to make this out to be some "racist" shooting an upper middle class black lawyer, but you know the truth, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I couldn't have known who he was. They're all wearing suits these days. Puffy made it cool. How could I have known that he wasn't a dangerous hip-hop artist? I acted on instinct. I acted to save my daughter's life.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecutor may point out to you that Hannah is not actually my daughter, that actually she's the daughter of my cousin and that her name, isn't actually Hannah, but Alice, and I just always wanted her to be called Hannah instead. They may point out that this was only the second time I'd met her, but I ask you, is that reason to not love someone? Is that reason to not feel a need to protect them from a dangerous, dark skinned man who just so happened to be a lawyer working one floor above me for the past ten years? Does that really trump a woman's intuitive maternal need to protect a child who's like a daughter to her?

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, your honor, I shot that man in the face. That is not in contention. But I say that it was justifiable. I say I was trying to save a little girl's life. I'm not a racist, ladies and gentlemen. I'm maternal.

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