Tuesday, August 28, 2012

AS IT STANDS: The court of public opinion is in order

Good Day Humboldt County!  It’s great to be back. For those of you who didn’t read my column last Sunday here you go:                           

     By Dave Stancliff/for the Times-Standard
     In a court somewhere in America. 
  Bailiff - “Everyone please remain standing until the Honorable Judge Les Hearit takes his seat.”
  Judge - “You may take your seats. The court of public opinion is now open.”
  A lawyer for the defense of judgmental Americans steps forward.
  Defense Lawyer for the public - “Your honor, George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and said it was self-defense. America can’t just sit back and wait for a trial. This is big news. A lot of people think he’s a racist and profiled Trayvon. Many others like a good scandal.”
   Judge - “I understand what you’re saying counselor.”

  Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “What happened to innocent until proven guilty, your honor? I shouldn’t have to defend my client in front of the whole country before the real trial begins.”
   Judge - “Haven’t you ever heard of Judge Judy? Public trials generate cash for the economy. People like to hear people express their opinions.”
   Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - That may be true your honor, but how will we ever get an unbiased jury for the trial when my client’s name tops all the top 10 search engines on the internet?”
  Judge -  “Don’t worry counselor, there are still people out there who don’t watch TV, read newspapers or magazines, use the internet, kindles, nooks, and don’t belong to social media websites like FaceBook or Twitter.”

  Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “Who are they?  A group of people who live in caves and expect the end of the world this December?”
  Judge - “Watch how you address the court counselor! Show some respect.”
   Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “Pardon me, your honor. It’s just that the court of public opinion could hurt my client’s chances of being acquitted of the charge against him.”
   Judge - “I don’t agree with that, counselor. Look at the Casey Anthony case. The whole country wanted her to be found guilty, but a jury said she wasn’t. And how about the John Edwards trial? There were a lot of people who thought he was guilty, but once again a jury said he wasn’t.”
   Defense lawyer for the public - “Thank you, your honor, for supporting our right to convict or to acquit anyone without all the facts. It’s truly the American way.”
    Prosecutor - “I’ve been quiet all this time for a reason, your honor. If it please the court, I have no objections to Zimmerman’s case being tried openly like this as it is providing valuable material for the upcoming trial.”
   Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “Just what do you mean by that, sir?”
   Prosecutor - “Stuff like that Fox interview where your client looked like a puppet being pulled by Sean Hannity’s strings, and yours. He was about as sincere as a rock! That farce was nothing more than a fundraiser for Zimmerman’s website that accepts donations for his defense.”

  Defense layer for Zimmerman - “Objection! My client isn’t a rock! That should be struck from the record!”
   Judge -  “Order in the court! I won’t allow you two to continue to make your cases if you can’t play nice.”
   Defense lawyer for the public - “Oh, come on your honor. This is exactly what we want. Unfounded allegations, outright lies, concealed information, partial truths, and lots of emotion on the part of Trayvon’s parents, the African-American community, the NRA, and other gun lobbies. It’s not about getting to the truth; it’s about entertainment. We want something else to talk about other than the economy, the presidential election, the drought, floods, and healthcare.”

   Judge - “You’ve got a good point counselor…let’s continue.”
   Prosecutor - “The bottom line is Zimmerman brought a knife to a fist fight.”
   Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “My client feared for his life.”
   Prosecutor - “If he hadn’t got out of the car, Trayvon would be alive today.”
   Defense lawyer for Zimmerman - “My client was trying to protect his neighbors’ houses.”
    Prosecutor - “Trayvon was being chased by a stranger he thought was going to do him harm.”
   Judge - “That’s enough for today. We’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow at 9 a.m. The court of public opinion is dismissed.”
   As It Stands, being judgmental is a national pastime.

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