“Suicide IS Painless,” the sign said. “Inquire Within.” [Part 3, final]

Alan got home and poured a tall glass of the cheap stuff he kept over the sink. His Mom was already asleep. He sat there, stirring it, not even sipping.

He opened his mobile assistant device. He stared at the CrimStarter app for 9, 10, 11 minutes. He opened the app and wrote out Ebben’s tale of woe, disproportionality and hopelessness. He hit ‘Create Case’. Up it went.

He slept a while, after. Then he opened the app again and checked for pledges. There were none. Not even $5 from the guys he went to law school with, who would have seen the case pledge request open immediately. Crickets.

He took out his court-issued Amex and pledged $15,000 that he knew he could never pay. He had crossed a big red ethical line there, and he knew it.

Alan lay down and slept until morning.

He woke up, took a leak, and hit GO on the coffeemaker. While it was brewing he opened his device again and checked the CrimStarter case file.


It had hit $75K.


Alan looked again, threw on his glasses and took a third look, his eyes finally in focus. The case was flagged as Ready to File—and was $16K to the good of the minimum threshold.

He showered, threw on his clothes and got moving on his way back to the GoodNeighborHood™  prison where Ebben was being held overnight. Alan could repudiate his pledge as soon as the appeal paperwork went through, there was already enough for the first filing, and he might even be able to get Ebben out on his recognizance, lack of flight risk, etc. etc. His mind was racing with the possibilities. My god, he thought, is this actually going to work?

He arrived at the prison and asked for an authorized client visit. The officer behind the desk looked at him, looked at his screen a moment, and then should his head.

“The inmate exercised his Early Resolution rights at 4:07 this morning, it says here.”

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