all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

20 August, 2012

Using the PM’s Defence

 “What I tell you three times is true.”
—Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark

In the near future, a criminal trial is underway in a Commonwealth State’s Supreme Court.

Judge:  Defendant, you plead “Not Guilty” to heinous crimes, but you choose to defend yourself, repudiating legal advice, and provide no list of witnesses; what then is your defence?
Defendant:  One, all this took place many years ago, so it’s all ancient history; two, I was young and naïve and suffered greatly from placing my trust in a person whom I loved but who was a thoroughly bad egg; three, I’ve already provided full and proper explanations for all these malicious assertions which, I might add, no proper media have covered.  I assert that I did nothing wrong, so I should be found not guilty.
Prosecutor:  Your Honour, I—
Judge:  You answered all these questions?  When?
Defendant:  I’ve already answered that question.
Judge:  No, you didn’t!
Defendant:  Look, I’ve given you my answer.
Judge:  Oh, all right.  Not guilty, then; you’re free to go.
Prosecutor:  What the—

(A similar transcript can be found in the twelfth update to “Another Story You May Not Read”:
Court Officer:  How do you plead?
Defendant:  Not guilty!
Judge:  Really?  On all charges?
Defendant:  Yes, Your Honour, I am not guilty!
Judge:  Are you absolutely sure?  These charges seem to be pretty serious; and I note that there is quite a pile of evidence against you, with a long list of witnesses for the prosecution.
Defendant:  I aint never done nothing.  I am, as I’ve said all along, absolutely innocent of all charges.  Not guilty!  Not guilty!  Not guilty!
Judge:  Well, then, with such persistent denial of wrongdoing, I must—and I shall—dismiss all charges, wherefore you are free to go.  I shall, however, have some stern words to say to the prosecutor
UPDATE (21 August)Throughout the media, these days, one can see “persistent denial of wrongdoing” used as some sort of exculpatory mantra.  For instance, inLaw firm Slater & Gordon considered axing Julia Gillard”, by Hedley Thomas (also quoted in “More on Gillard”), we read:
In the leaked statement, Mr Gordon notes the Prime Minister’s repeated denials of wrongdoing and says he formed the view “that she should be accorded the benefit of the doubt and her explanation accepted”.
A senior lawyer, knowing that a partner, in her early thirties, and old enough to know right from wrong, has been having an unacknowledged sexual relationship with a client (who, evidently, had conspired to defraud his union and various businesses of hundreds of thousands of dollars), and knowing that she incompetently or mischievously neglected to establish a file for work done for this lawbreaking leman, and knowing (surely) that malfeasant people usually attempt to hide their misdeeds with lies and evasions, is credulously content to accord her the benefit of the doubt because of her “repeated denials of wrongdoing”.  Would that those of us who are not Labor MPs or senior union executives or partners in a law firm be favoured with such judicial generosity if we’re ever accused of serious crimes.

No comments: