NEW YORK CITY — Kamal Ahmed, 36, sat with his hands neatly clasped together in his lap. Next to him, a sweaty attorney in a shiny suit shuffled through a stack of papers. A draft in the courtroom — perhaps caused by the hurried entrance of a tall, elderly judge – lifted a single paper off the top of the pile and onto the floor. Ahmed bent from his chair and scooped the paper up with both hands. His handcuffs jingled.
Today, for the first time in American history, a hardcore kid was tried as an adult.
David Hankley, the perspiring lawyer and Ahmed’s public defender, did his best to convince the judge and jury that his client should be tried as a minor.
“As you can see, Your Honor, my client may be 35 years old, but he is — in no way or shape — an adult. If it pleases the court, I’d like to call into evidence the fact he wore a Warzone t-shirt to this court date,” Hankley said. “Add to that his Twitter feed, where he obsesses over ideas of ‘unity’ within a scene full of 15-year-olds, and I think the picture becomes clear.”
But the judge and prosecutor, veterans of the court system, weren’t having any of it.
“Everyone would like to take a couple years off the top, am I right?” mused charismatic, handsome prosecutor Geoffrey Brennan to the jury. “Hell, I know I would. But just because this man belongs to the Die Young crew, and still doesn’t have his driver’s license, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try him as what he truly is: an adult. He isn’t the first hardcore kid to try this stuff, and if we don’t send a strong message, he won’t be the last.”
In his final ruling, the honorable Judge Mike Joge struck a chastising tone with Ahmed.
“Just because you spend all your time arguing with children on these online music forums doesn’t mean you aren’t 35 years old,” Joge asserted. “I sentence you to 25 ta life.”
“Your Honor, I implore you to reconsider,” Hankley pleaded. “He might be an adult, but he’s a minor at heart.”
“Sir, if you disagree you can file an appeal. Otherwise, you are out of order,” barked Joge. The bang of his gavel brought the trial to an abrupt end.
Before Ahmed was dragged off into his holding cell, he gave a brief statement to the press.
“It’s not who I am, it’s not how I feel,” Ahmed insisted of his sentencing. “I’m gonna stay young until I die.”
Photo by Maveric2003 & Rangrageart. Concept by Cody Backus.