“Miss Derril,” the judge said, “this is the third time you have to stand trial and that in less than two years time. You have been previously been convicted for driving under influence and without license and one count of shoplifting. Now, you have been charged for being in the possession of counterfeit money. Have you anything to say, young lady?”
Irene Derril, as was the defendant’s name, looked at the floor while she said, crying: “I am so sorry, sir.” But the judge shook his head and said: “I don’t believe you are sincere in your apology. In fact I believe you are an incorrigible repeat offender and you will violate the law again, if you got the occasion. You have had enough opportunity to improve your behaviour and society has the full right to remove from their midst. Therefore I’ll sentence you to thirty years in prison.”
“No, please don’t send me to jail!” The eighteen-year-old woman begged the judge, but to no avail. The court police escorted her from the court room and brought her to prison. And while locked up, Irene filed for appeal.
However, three months later she lost her appeal and her sentence was confirmed. And even the national court of justice refused to review her case. So Irene had to accept the fact she would stay in prison for at least the next twenty year, if she would show good behaviour she might be paroled after serving two-thirds of her sentence.
Six months after her initial conviction Irene got a visit from the deputy director of the national prison service, one Tamara Green. The civil servant found the prisoner in her cell.
“Good afternoon,” Ms Green said. Irene did not respond verbally but her non-verbal language was quite clear, she did not like her visitor. Nevertheless, the deputy director continued.
“As you might know, our country has a severe shortage of prison cells…” “Maybe you should abolish those idiotic harsh sentencing laws of yours,” Irene remarked cynically.
“Our penal laws are the result of a democratic process, but anyway we have not enough capacity to house all our prisoners in our prisons. Fortunately our government had recently signed an agreement with the Martian government, which will we allow to transfer some prisoners to their planet.” “You are kidding, ma’am?” Tamara Green shook her head.
“No, I am not. You will be transferred to Mars next month.” “Why Mars?” “They have a severe labour shortage, so you will have to work there.” “That’s illegal!” shouted Irene. “No, it’s perfectly legal, miss Derril. And for your information, there’s nothing you can do to stop your transfer to Mars.” “I don’t to go to Mars, I want to stay here on Earth! That’s my fundamental human right!” “There’s no such right, miss Derril.” The deputy director looked at the eighteen-year-old and said:
“I have a busy day, so I have to go. Goodbye.” “Fall dead,” said Irene Derril, hardly audible.