Welcome to my courtroom, folks, I’m Judge Curmudgeon Bludgeon and I’ll be your judge for today. Today’s special is a petit larceny served up as a robbery. Remember, folks, just because that lawyered-up defendant was arrested by New York’s Finest and prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office – that bulwark of public morals and safety – that doesn’t mean a darn thing. He can just sit there like a bump on a log eating up your tax dollars and burdening the Criminal Justice System, and you have to presume he’s innocent.
And since every criminal, no matter how depraved, has the right to an unbiased jury, I need to find out from each of you whether you’re in a sexual relationship, whether you have the money to own your home, whether you read terrorist newspapers, how many children you have, and why. I’ll be asking the ages of all your children and pets and what they do for a living. And when I ask whether you have family members who work in the Criminal Justice System, don’t omit to tell us about your cousin in the Girl Scouts or your uncle who used to be a traffic warden in Ulan Bator. We’ll start with you, Miz Jones – am I pronouncing your name correctly?
Miz Jones: I live in a shoe and I have so many children I don’t know what to do.
Judge: Do you rent or own the shoe, Miz Jones?
Cut to two weeks later:
Judge: And now, folks, Assistant District Attorney Tightskirt who represents the People of the State of New York will ask you some questions. Go ahead, dear.
ADA Tightskirt : Thank you, Bludge. I mean, Judge. Is there anybody here who thinks the People have to have more than one witness? No? Anyone who thinks we have to present any witnesses? No? Anybody who thinks this is like TV where the prosecution always has DNA? Nobody? What about no evidence? Anybody who can’t give the People a fair trial just because we have no evidence? Mr. Flounder?
Mr. Flounder: My religious beliefs forbid me to sit in judgment without no evidence.
ADA Tightskirt: I appreciate your flounder, Mr. Candor. I mean I appreciate your candor –
Judge: I’ll be instructing you on the law. For now, all you need to know is that anything proffered by the People is evidence.
ADA Tightskirt: Ladies and gentlemen, this case is about the robbery of a hard-working man who came to this country with nothing but a million dollars and a dream. He opened up a candy store for America’s children –
Defense counsel: Objection, this is voir dire, not summation.
Judge: Overruled. (to ADA) As you were saying, before you were interrupted?
ADA Tightskirt: You’ll hear how this defendant cleverly plotted his sinister move, carefully calculating which candy bar to take. Being no stranger to criminal activity, he selected a package of M&M’s –
Defense counsel: Objection!
Judge: Sustained. (to jury) Folks, you’re not to consider the defendant’s lengthy criminal record. Remember, he’s innocent until you prove him guilty.
ADA Tightskirt: And you know what? The victim was determined to protect himself, his family and his business by punching the defendant in the head several times, causing lacerations to his own knuckles. As Judge Bludgeon will instruct you, theft combined with inflicting physical injury constitutes the felony of Predatory Aggravated Terrorist Gang Assault Robbery. Now, is there anyone who thinks that just because it’s only a package of M&M’s, we shouldn’t be prosecuting this case?
Miz Halibut: Were they assorted M&M’s or plain?
Judge: You’re not to speculate about value of the stolen property. The question is whether you can put aside your biases and prejudices and find the defendant guilty.
Mr. Crab: No problem.
ADA Tightskirt: (conspicuously scratching out Miz Halibut’s name from her notes). No further questions.