Dean Frizz: Welcome to the Acme School of Law and Refrigerator Repair, a cutting-edge experiment in interdisciplinary studies and an exciting merger of two schools that would otherwise go belly up. Today we have a fabulous panel to speak on “Whither Criminal Law: Whether Wither or Weather?” From left to right, the Honorable Judge Wool, Assemblyman Plunkitt, District Attorney Vandal and our own Bambi Bramble, Professor of Critical Legal Studies and Ice Cube Tray Design.
Professor Bramble: Thank you, Dean. From a semiotic standpoint, crime is the text and law is the footnotes. As consumers of crime, we posit a theoretical model of individualized responsibility, but in practice it’s impossible to pry out just one ice cube without spilling the rest of them all over the floor.
DA Vandal: My goal is to eliminate criminal law by 2020. Once we have everbody in the database, it’s just a matter of matching up their DNA with every crime scene. The system will become a smoothly running conveyor belt where guilt is determined by lab technicians, eliminating expensive trials, interfering lawyers and inefficient juries.
Dean Frizz: Wouldn’t that be unconstitutional?
DA Vandal: Why should we have to wait for a crime to be committed before we can protect victims from criminals?
Professor Bramble: Doesn’t there have to be a crime before there’s a victim? Or a criminal?
DA Vandal: (genuinely baffled) Why?
Assemblyman Plunkitt: The solution is to eliminate needless constitutional obstructions by not using the words crime or punishment. I’m sponsoring a bill to change the title of the Penal Law to the Remedial Law. Felonies and misdemeanors will be renamed “no-no’s” and “boo-boo’s.” Prisons will be renamed “secure programs” or “boo-boo management centers.” We need to streamline the Bill of Rights to make them operate more efficiently.
Dean Frizz: What do you think, Judge Wool?
Judge Wool: Zzzzzzz.
Dean Frizz: Oh, dear, should we wake him up?
DA Vandal: Leave it to me. (Loudly) Objection, your Honor!
Judge Wool: Huh? Sustained!
Dean Frizz: Can you give us a view from the bench, Judge?
Judge Wool: Working in the criminal justice system means having to deal on a daily basis with nasty, dangerous, mentally deranged people. But of course there are exceptions. Some judges aren’t like that at all. (Goes back to sleep).