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490 I’m Owning You Guys

Wilfrid casually threw Reese's research documents to his assistant. Even Dai Li could tell that Wilfrid didn't really care about them.

Wilfrid explained, "Since Nick Reese dared to just hand over this document to us, there is no need for us to doubt the truthfulness and professionalism of this document. It would be a waste of time to focus on them. We are not experts in psychology, and there is no way for us to find any problems or loopholes within these documents in such a short amount of time."

After Wilfrid finished speaking, he looked towards Dai Li and asked, "Mr. Li, please tell me honestly, do you have a tendency for violence?"

"No." Dai Li shook his head firmly. "Although I haven't gone through any psychological test, I am considered rather calm when I handle things."

"If it is possible, we might have to really have you undergo a psychological test to prove that you do not have a tendency for violence, so that we may deny Reese's charges. Later in court, I will try to bring it up," Wilfrid said.

At that moment, Prosecutor Nick Reese walked over from afar.

"Mr. Wilfrid, you've reviewed the documents that I gave you, right? If there's any part that requires clarification, please do allow me to explain it to you." Reese went ahead and sat beside Wilfrid as he spoke.

"Prosecutor Reese, it can't be that you came all this way just to explain the content of this document to me, right?" Wilfrid asked while staring at Reese.

Reese smiled and lowered his voice. "I can't hide anything from you after all. Mr. Wilfrid and Mr. Li, I hope that you seriously consider my previous suggestion."

"You still want to advise my client to plead guilty?" Wilfrid laughed coldly.

"Yes. If Mr. Li is willing to plead guilty to the intentional assault and police assault charges, I can withdraw the charge on an attempted first-degree murder," Reese said.

Before Wilfrid could answer, Dai Li shook his head first. "I'm innocent."

"Mr. Li, whether you are guilty or not depends on the decision given by the jury." Reese displayed an expression of helplessness, then went on to say, "How they will decide, I don't know, but I really hope that I can help you."

"Help me? Prosecutor Reese, are you joking? I sure don't feel like you are helping me," Dai Li said mockingly.

Reese said instead, "Mr. Li, you are now charged with first-degree murder. Although it is only attempted murder, you have to know that if you were found guilty, what kind of punishment awaits you? You will go to prison, five years, ten years, or even more than ten years! You have to know, prison isn't a comfortable place. It's full of villains, scum, scoundrels, and there are even perverts who like f*cking people in the as*!"

"But if you are willing to plead guilty, with just intentional assault and police assault, your sentence will be much lighter. As a prosecutor, I can apply for you to have a lighter sentence, and you might not even need to go to prison. I can help get you on probation for three to five years, with an added 1000 hours of community service. What do you think?"

"Not great. I'm innocent, why should I plead guilty?" Dai Li shook his head.

"Looks like Mr. Li still doesn't understand the situation," Reese smiled and said. "Mr. Li, I think you should have discovered by now that there are some members of the jury who agree with my points, which means that based on this trend, you might be convicted of an attempted first-degree murder. You might have to go to prison. Of course, I don't know what the probability for this is. Perhaps 10-20%? 30-40%? Or maybe 50-60%? I guess everyone will have their own assessment. Mr. Wilfrid should also be able to give you more professional advice."

"But the important thing is, do you want to gamble on the probability of being convicted? Even if there is only a 10% chance for you to be found guilty, that means that there's a 10% chance that you will have to stay ten years in prison! Can you guarantee 100% that you have such good luck, and that you won't encounter that 10% chance? Don't you feel that even if it were just a 10% chance, it is a high risk? Not to mention when it comes time to finally make the judgment, your chance of getting convicted might not be only 10%, right? That's because I still have cards I haven't played."

"I don't know how you view this, but if it were me, I definitely wouldn't want to bear any risk of going to prison. And now, there is an option right in front of you where you don't have to bear any risk. As long as you confess and plead guilty to intentional assault and the police assault charges, you don't have to go to prison. I've seen your data; you don't have any criminal record after coming to the US. I believe that a few years of probation shouldn't be too tough for you. And using some time in community service to remove the risk of going to prison, I think this is a very good deal."

"So Mr. Li, I know you have a chain of physical fitness centers. It's a huge business, and it brings you a lot of income every year. But if you go to prison, can you still maintain all this? At least when you're in prison, you'll lose all these. There's a phrase that says, if there's life, there's hope. That is why I hope that you will seriously consider my offer."

Dai Li did not answer. Wilfrid was the one who spoke instead, "Prosecutor Reese, the probation you mentioned, does it include intensive probation?"

Reese shook his head. "I don't think there's a need for reinforced probation, but if the probation period is too long, perhaps there might be six months to a year's intensive probation."

Wilfrid fell into a deep state of reflection. Prosecutor Reese felt that he was in business, so he stood up. "Mr. Li, Mr. Wilfrid, you can discuss this first. I shall take my leave. I hope I will hear your good news soon."


There were different kinds of probation in the US. The first type was the unsupervised probation, also called informal probation. During the probationary period, the convict didn't need to be directly supervised by a probation officer. It was mostly used on criminals convicted of minor crimes.

The second type was the supervised probation, also called the formal probation. During the probationary period, the criminal was required to report to the probation officer on a regular basis. The criminal could also be asked to participate in consultation services, and they had to accept spot checks for drugs and alcohol.

The third was intensive probation. It was suitable for criminals who had committed more serious crimes. During the probationary period, the criminal had to also report to the probation officer regularly, as well as accept consultation. If it were a particular crime, such as drug dealing or sexual offenses, there would be additional conditions. For example, mental and physical treatment, and also registration in the local crime registrar.

The consultation services mentioned referred to legal and psychological consultation services. The legal consultation services were the equivalent of letting the convict learn more about the law; it was a process of studying law. As for psychological consultation services, those who had watched the movie "Internal Affairs" should have a clearer and better understanding. The protagonist of the movie, Chan Wing Yan, had to go through a lengthy psychological consultation period because he committed a crime.

Apart from that, during the probationary period, criminals normally had to complete a fixed amount of community service. For those who committed less serious crimes, the court would also directly sentence them to community service as the most fundamental punishment measure. 

Wilfrid explained all this to Dai Li and said, "You can't commit another crime during the probation period, and you have to report to the probation officer twice a week. You will be restricted when leaving the country. You can only leave the US after the state court's approval. At the same time, according to the law of California, convicts under probation have a curfew, that means that you are not allowed to venture outside at night, you can only stay at home."

Dai Li nodded and said, "Mr. Wilfrid, I'd like your professional advice."

"From the perspective of law, our chances for winning this lawsuit is great, as our discussions and opinions are more persuasive. However, as your lawyer, what I am supposed to do is to safeguard your personal benefits to the best of my ability. It is as the prosecutor said just now; we don't have a 100% chance of winning, there is a chance for you to be found guilty. If we continue with this lawsuit, you have to be prepared to face a prison sentence. Even if the chances are low, it is still a risk. On this, the prosecutor did not lie to us," Wilfrid said.

"So, do you think I should accept the prosecutor's advice and plead guilty to the intentional assault and police assault charges?" Dai Li asked with a frown.

"This depends on your willingness to bear the risk of going to prison." Wilfrid's expression turned serious. "If you plan on continuing with this lawsuit, I will do all I can to help you win, but if you are willing to accept the conditions of the prosecutor, I will also negotiate with the prosecutor and help you get the best possible deal."

"Let me consider it for a while." Dai Li breathed in deeply.

Wilfrid was considerate as he stood up and walked to the side. The Dai Li needed space to think carefully before making a decision.


"Prosecutor Reese, will the defendant and his lawyer accept our conditions?" the intern asked quietly.

Reese immediately corrected him. "Don't use the word 'condition,' it's called a suggestion."

"Alright, then will the defendant and his lawyer accept our suggestion?" the intern asked again.

Reese did not answer "Yes" or "No," he only asked a question that seemed completely unrelated. "Have you been to Las Vegas?"

"Ugh, yes, I've been there," the intern answered honestly.

"Then you should have been to the casinos in Las Vegas, right?" Reese continued asking.

"Yes, I have." The intern's tone was very low when he answered. As an intern working beside the prosecutor, he felt that having been to the casino wasn't exactly something to be proud of.

"Then, did you play a few rounds?" Reese asked with a smile.

The intern felt that Reese wasn't blaming him, so he got himself together and answered courageously, "I've only played a few rounds of the slot machine. I didn't play at the gaming tables."

"Did you lose or did you win?" Reese continued with his questions.

"Of course I lost. The chances of the slot machines were already low, you'd lose nine times out of ten," the intern answered in resignation.

Reese instead, seemed very interested. "How much did you lose?"

"It was around 50 dollars. I was a full scholarship student in school, so I had some extra money on my hands," the intern answered.

"Did it hurt?" Reese asked with a laugh.

"Not really. It was only 50 dollars, after all. I could lose that much," the intern replied.

"What if you lost 500,000 dollars instead? Would it hurt?" Reese's questions seemed a bit out of the blue.

"I don't have 500,000 dollars." The intern didn't really understand what Reese was trying to say.

"I'm going to give you an example. If you had 50 dollars, and you lost them, you might not feel too bad, since it was only 50 dollars. The amount was sufficient for you to eat a few meals of fast food, ordering a few large hamburgers and pizza. Or you might go to the movies with your girlfriend, and you would probably still have enough for condoms. Or perhaps you could go watch a game on the weekend, but of course, you could only sit in the back. You can easily get 50 dollars. You could find any random job, or perhaps go work part-time, and you'd have earned 50 dollars. That sounds about right, correct?"

The intern nodded. Reese then continued, "If you had 500,000 dollars, and you lost that amount at the casino, I'm guessing it would hurt a lot, right? It is 500,000 dollars, it's almost the equivalent of an ordinary person's ten-year salary. This money can be used to purchase a small apartment in California, or a mansion in a rural area. It can be used to buy several new cars, sports cars, SUVs, RVs, satisfying all your traveling needs. Or perhaps you can thoroughly enjoy yourself in Las Vegas for an amount of time, eat lavishly, find a few beautiful ladies and have fun every night. With that much money, it is enough to weaken your kidneys! Yup, you probably won't need that much to have fun until your liver fails."

"Prosecutor Reese, what are you implying?" the intern asked, as he couldn't wait anymore.

"What I want to say is, if you only had 50 dollars, perhaps you would spend it all on the slot machine, but if you had 500,000 dollars, you definitely wouldn't want to waste them away. You would probably use it to satisfy other material needs, or maybe change ladies every night until your kidney fails, right?" Reese suddenly looked very serious.

He then said, "That's the difference between having money and having no money. The rich live, or to be precise, they enjoy life. The poor survive, working hard just to survive! Between the two, which do you think would value their life situation more?"

"This…" The intern thought for a moment and answered, "I guess it's the rich. It's because they can enjoy life, they might not want to lose their state of enjoying life. As for the poor, they definitely wouldn't want to maintain their daily life of hard work."

"That is exactly correct. For those at the bottom of society, they don't have to worry about losing something because they have nothing, there's nothing to lose for them. If the defendant were someone like that, and you told them that there was a 10 to 20 percent chance of them being found guilty and that they would have to go to prison for a couple of years, they would feel happy. That's because there was an 80 to 90 percent chance for them to be innocent." Reese glanced towards Dai Li and continued, "However, it's different for the rich. Although rich people might have more things, they are also more fearful of losing everything they own. If the defendant were an affluent person, and you told them that there was a 10 to 20 percent chance for them to be guilty and that they would have to go to prison for a few years, they would panic. That's because the 10 to 20 percent chance of going to prison is already a very big risk for them. They would never take that risk."

The intern had an expression of realization. "So the defendant will surely accept our conditions. Oh, no, I mean he will agree to our suggestion!"

"It's not over yet, don't jump to conclusions too quickly." Although Reese said that, his expression betrayed his belief.

Later, Reese used a very light tone and said, "In truth, at the beginning of the trial, I intentionally put us in a disadvantageous position. It was a tactic that intentionally showed weakness to the enemy. I wanted to make Wilfrid think that they were in an advantaged position, that they had a good chance of winning this lawsuit."

"It is easier for one to relax and lose vigilance when close to victory. At the same time, when there is a large advantage, it is the time when one looks for stability. For example, in a basketball match, if there were a 30 point advantage when there were only five minutes left on the clock, the coach would substitute the key players off to avoid injury. This is a display of looking for stability."

"What I used was exactly the psychology of the defendant and the defense lawyer. At this moment, they will make the choice that brings even more stability, and not to try their luck. Even if they continue to have the advantage, and have a high chance of winning."

"It is just like a game of cards. I keep on folding so that the opponents think that my cards are bad. And if I suddenly choose to raise, the opponent's first reaction will be that I have got my hands on good cards. Even if I were faking it, and even if the opponent had a good or decent hand, they still wouldn't choose to follow."

As Nick Reese spoke, he had a triumphant look on his face. He then looked towards Dai Li and Wilfrid and said to himself, "This time, I'm owning you guys!"