Author: Don Nigroni

I replied, “So it’s an open and shut case. Your client was seen by three witnesses entering the room through the only door. The window was latched from the inside. They heard a thud or two and upon entering the room seconds later saw the victim lying on the floor with his head cracked open. A marble bust of Apollo was lying on the floor beside the deceased and your client’s shirt and pants were spattered with blood. The police determined said blood was from the victim and your client’s fingerprints were found on the bust.”
“That about sums it up,” my law partner said.
“Yet you pled not guilty today even though you know an insanity defense is rarely successful.”
“He’s perfectly sane and he had a good motive. My client was not only recently passed over for a partnership because the victim blackballed him, which he took mighty hard, but the victim was sleeping with my client’s pretty wife, which devastated him. He had married an attractive student twelve years younger than him who had very expensive tastes. He left academia for Wall Street to make a fortune for her sake.”
“So try for a plea bargain.”
“Nobody wants to bargain. The prosecutor figures she can’t lose and my client is convinced he’s innocent.
He was a brilliant mathematical physicist working as a professor at a small Midwestern college. Only eight people in the entire world understood his mathematical equations. They indicated that there are around 350,000 linked alternate universes containing as many alternatives to us.
He’s convinced his equations proved conclusively that shared ubiquitous background static (SUBS) must exist. It’s not detectable by today’s instruments but, without SUBS, his equations would blow up. When the SUBS in the linked auxiliary universes builds up to a critical level then each mind in every related world is simultaneously and instantly ejected. They all jump into another world in the direction of the SUBS spin.
So, according to his calculations, after about 15 minutes in any universe, our consciousness leaps into another universe and then another until after around ten years we complete the circuit and are back to where we started, albeit very briefly.
But, when we enter a new alternate us, we don’t have access to any memories stored in our previous alternate us. That new brain already contains experiences, values, and beliefs that we tend to accept as our own. And that shapes our personality and motives so that we normally behave like the previous occupants of that body. But there’s a lone wild card, whim. So, he claims, whoever clobbered the victim is now in another world.
I figure he’ll get life without the possibility of parole and, considering his age and health, that would translate into about thirty years.
But, according to him, that will mean the real murderer would only be incarcerated for less than an hour. And, although he disapproves of the real murderer’s actions and insists he himself could never kill anyone, he did sympathize with the murderer and didn’t blame him. My client wasn’t upset that the culprit basically got away with murder and framed a series of innocent people in the process.”
“So what’s your defense?”
“I just told you. His case will be argued in court using his mathematical evidence but, conceivably, not by this me.”