Precedents

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PerryMason

How would you like to have a job where there was virtually no retribution for any mistakes you made, the customer was always wrong, and even your most unsupported ideas became locked in stone no matter how unsubstantiated the supporting data was? Welcome to the world of the prosecutor! Cops have a relatively simple job. Arrest people whom THEY think, or have been told, are breaking the law. That’s really all they do, folks. They’re called to a fight, and if one or more of the parties are like, say, black, they just haul’em down to the ol’ station house and “book them.” Then a judge comes in, tells the infractor what they supposedly did, and sets a reasonable bail (unless you’re in Waco, then it’s your butt!) At this point your fate will be turned over to something called a “persecutor.”     Let me explain what a prosecutor is. Well, first off they are lawyers, and that’s never good. They go off to college for four years, hopefully learning to read, something missed by most high schools these days. People destined to become lawyers have demonstrated a proficiency for lying, so after college they run off to liar’s school. Some folks called it law school, some call it lair’s school, I call it a sling blade, um hum! The reason I say “liar’s school” is because they don’t learn law there, they learn to twist the truth. If just learning law were the case they could just study the constitution and be done with it, but heck, if that was all law was we wouldn’t need lawyers, now would we? Get caught with a gun, whip out the old pocket constitution, show it to the judge (master liar,) read the second amendment, and stroll right out the door. Shucks! Ain’t no money in that! No, lawyers go to liar’s school to learn to look up something call “legal precedents.” Now a legal precedent is a funny critter and there’s a lot of money to be made if you can skin one. Works like this here: Billy Joe Jim Bob comes up for carrying around that gun I previously alluded to. Now there’s no doubt he did it because when officer O’Henry knocked him in the head it fell right out on the ground. (That’s called “evidence.”)  Billy Joe winds up in court with the gun in a little plastic bag. Now, like I said, this should be simple. Billy Joe can’t actually speak to the judge because he don’t talk law talk, but he’s got a lawyer and that guy should be able to just read that little copy of the constitution and be done with it.  Au Contraire! The prosecutor falls back on a precedent. Some time, way back, a judge made a “ruling”‘where it was figured out that in spite of what the constitution said, it really meant something else. Usually takes a bit of explaining to do, those other lawyers sitting on the supreme court, many months of thought, and about one hundred and fifty pages to explain what that one little sentence in the constitution really meant, anyway, they read it out loud and it became, you got it . . . a PRECEDENT!     Well, that’s what liar’s school is all about! All that prosecutor fella has to do is “cite” that precedent and Billy Joe Jim Bob eats beanie-weenies for one hundred and eighty days, give or take a few depending on if Edna, the county clerk remembers to log him in at the right date. Of course they fine the be-Jesus out of him, the prosecutor and judge split the money, call it a day.     So, this young academic spends three years learning how to chase precedents. Then he has to sit before something called the “bar” and if he can prove he’s a bigger liar than the bunch on the other side of that thing then he gets a license to “practice” law. That’s opposed to “doing” law, you can only “practice” law, what with so many precedents out there, and so many other liars a chasing them no one can ever really be sure what the “law” is so you never commit to knowing what you’re doing, you’re just “practicing.”     So now we have a lawyer. Now a lawyer is not an attorney, or vice versa. Theoretically, a lawyer works for you, and an attorney works for the judge. In reality they all drink from the same bottle at that other “bar” down the street. That all having been said you’d think after all that schooling this newly minted motor mouth would hang out a shingle and get to work for truth, justice, and the American way. Well, most do, but there’s some that just can’t see that. They figure the odds. You see, if you have your own show you have to find customers, and actually DO something, and if your client has anything at all, they’ll pay you to keep from eating them beanie-weenies previously mentioned. Some folks go to work, and some folks head on off down to the welfare office. THAT’S a “prosecutor!” A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and if that bird’s in JAIL?     So there you sit, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Oh, you’re still in jail, and the prosecutor works up a case. Now some cases get dropped. Like say, if you were in Keyna at the time the 7/11 got stuck up in Yuma. There’s about a 50/50 chance the case might get dropped, unless the prosecutor can find one of them there precedents. More than likely you’ll come to trial and you THINK your lawyer is on your team. Always remember, HE’S not the one in jail, YOU are! If you are the one paying your lawyer you may have a chance, but it you got one of them “pro-bono” fellas, forget about it. Let me tell you what pro-bono is. Pro-bono is where you can’t afford your own liar so the judge picks his cousin to represent you. That pretty much sums it up.     Hopefully you’re free on bail, another real nice money pit, because the judge’s other cousin has a company that will stand good for your “innocent” butt to walk around semi free while all the liars meet at the bar and try to figure out what you’re worth to them. The prosecutor isn’t the least bit interested in the truth. He’s busy stacking the case. If you have a pro-bono liar he’s a gonna want you to do something called a plea out. A plea out is where you say you done it, even though you didn’t, so the judge and the lawyers don’t have to actually work and put in a full day. That and all the other “innocents” out in the hall waiting to see if their liar skinned their precedent because this lawyer work is big business. To sum the court room up, the prosecutor is not the least bit interested in the truth and the opposing lawyers are not the least bit interested in the truth . . . Wait! That makes them one and the same, now doesn’t it? Yep! Heeeeere’s your sign!     So they go to lying. You may even have a jury. Of course the judge is going to let them know what the “law” is, of course he ain’t gonna tell them about them precedents, he’s still mad because you didn’t plead out and was stupid enough to think you were going to walk out of that courtroom with your shirt. Most likely you’re going to be found guilty, but let’s just suppose, for the sake of argument, something goes wrong and you spit the hook. Now let’s count this all up. You hired your own liar. You gave the judge’s cousin money to wink at the sheriff and get you out of jail. Oh, and when you did get out your boss fired you because everybody knows that if you weren’t guilty you’d never got arrested in the FIRST place. You lived on your wife’s tips for about six months, but,she left you. But you’re FREE! As you leave the courtroom you notice the prosecutor going through his brief case digging out the paperwork on the next “innocent” person being led before his “honor,” and what did it cost the prosecutor? Nothing! Nada, just a little egg on his face and HE has to pay for the first round at the country club tonight when this dog and pony show wraps up. Now wouldn’t it seem more fair that if the next morning that “servant” of the people showed up and on his desk is a nice bill for all your lost wages, your bail, your costs of your liar, and a little tip for your hurt feelings? A date with his wife might be a nice touch. Don’t you think the possibility of that would make this ego maniac dig a little bit deeper before going precedent hunting? Gotta watch them there precedents!

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