Friday, November 01, 2013

Our Hero: Captain Justice

We can't tell this story as well as Lisa Needham does at Happy Time People.  If you have a minute, please ... please -- read her post all the way through.

If you insist on getting the capsule version, here it is.

A state prosecutor in Tennessee has taken exception to being referred to in court as "the Government," even though this is customary in his state.  He works, after all, for the state's government.  Declaring that it somehow prejudicial -- presumably because of how much Americans seem to hate their own government -- he has petitioned the judge in a particular trial to call him ... something else.

Counsel for the defense, a man with the brilliant name of Drew Justice, has filed a counter-motion that is nothing short of genius.  It reads, in part:

[if the Court is] inclined to let the parties basically pick their own designations [then] the Defendant no longer wants to be called “the Defendant.” This rather archaic term of art, obviously has a fairly negative connotation. It unfairly demeans, and dehumanizes Mr. D.P. The word “defendant” should be banned. At trial, Mr. P. hereby demands to be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title “Mister.” Alternatively, he may be called simply “the Citizen Accused.” This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal “Defendant.” The designation “That innocent man” would also be acceptable.

Good, right?  But it gets better:
Moreover, defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a “lawyer,” or a “defense attorney.” [...] Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the “Defender of the Innocent.” This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent. Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation “Guardian of the Realm.” 
Further, the Citizen Accused humbly requests an appropriate military title for his own representative, to match that of the opposing counsel. Whenever addressed by name, the name “Captain Justice” will be appropriate. While less impressive than [assistant district attorney] “General,” still, the more humble term seems suitable. After all, the Captain represents only a Citizen Accused, whereas the General represents an entire State.
Yes.  Captain Justice is our new hero.

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