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   Anthrax didn't see his final list of charges until the day he appeared

   in court on 28 August 1995. The whole case seemed to be a bit

   disorganised. His Legal Aid lawyer had little knowledge of computers,

   let alone computer crime. He told Anthrax he could ask for an

   adjournment because he hadn't seen the final charges until so late,

   but Anthrax wanted to get the thing over and done with. They had

   agreed that Anthrax would plead guilty to the charges and hope for a

   reasonable magistrate.

  

   Anthrax looked through the hand-up brief provided by the prosecution,

   which included a heavily edited transcript of his interview with the

   police. It was labelled as a `summary', but it certainly didn't

   summarise everything important in that interview. Either the

   prosecution or the police had cut out all references to the fact that

   the police had threatened to charge Anthrax's mother if he didn't

   agree to be interviewed.

  

   Anthrax pondered the matter. Wasn't everything relevant to his case

   supposed to be covered in a hand-up brief? This seemed very relevant

   to his case, yet there wasn't a mention of it anywhere in the

   document. He began to wonder if the police had edited down the

   transcript just so they could cut out that portion of the interview.

   Perhaps the judge wouldn't be too happy about it. He thought that

   maybe the police didn't want to be held accountable for how they had

   dealt with his mother.

  

   The rest of the hand-up brief wasn't much better. The only statement

   by an actual `witness' to Anthrax's hacking was from his former

   room-mate, who claimed that he had watched Anthrax break into a NASA

   computer and access an `area of the computer system which showed the

   latitude/longitude of ships'.

  

   Did space ships even have longitudes and latitudes? Anthrax didn't

   know. And he had certainly never broken into a NASA computer in front

   of the room-mate. It was absurd. This guy is lying, Anthrax thought,

   and five minutes under cross-examination by a reasonable lawyer would

   illustrate as much. Anthrax's instincts told him the prosecution had a

   flimsy case for some of the charges, but he felt overwhelmed by

   pressure from all sides--his family, the bustle in the courtroom, even

   the officiousness of his own lawyer quickly rustling through his

   papers.

  

   Anthrax looked around the room. His eyes fell on his father, who sat

   waiting on the public benches. Anthrax's lawyer wanted him there to

   give evidence during sentencing. He thought it would look good to show

   there was a family presence. Anthrax gave the suggestion a cool

   reception. But he didn't understand how courts worked, so he followed

   his lawyer's advice.

  

   Anthrax's mother was back at his apartment, waiting for news. She had

   been on night duty and was supposed to be sleeping. That was the

   ostensible reason she didn't attend. Anthrax thought perhaps that the

   tension was too much for her. Whatever the reason, she didn't sleep

   all that day. She tidied the place, washed the dishes, did the

   laundry, and kept herself as busy as the tiny apartment would allow

   her.