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Saturday, June 1, 2024


                    Could this be True?

 The news is filled with courtroom trials, so I researched some laws and trials for your edification in case you ever need them. 

 A homeless woman in Washington State confessed to stealing $299.00 of merchandise from Bon Marche. She was convicted, but the story doesn't end there. She appealed stating that the merchandise at Nordstrom was less than $250.00  which was less than the felony. The Supreme Court of Washington State agreed with her and overturned the conviction. It was determined that market value and not retail value were the criteria for the felony or misdemeanor. The ruling seemed to indicate comparison shoplifting.

Justice Richard P. Guy, the dissenting judge, said, "A thief, at a minimum, should comparison shop before, not after, he or she decides to steal."

-State v. Kleist, 126 Washington 2d 432,895 P.2d 398 (1995)


In Maryland, in an appellate court, the judge listened to the defendant who, after being convicted of bribing a judge for $2,500.00 wanted to have his money refunded.  The judge said to him, "For whatever else you may lack, you do not suffer for lack of chutzpah." 

State v. Strickland, 42 Md.App.357, 400 A.2d 451 (Maryland Ct.Spec.App. 1979)


Do You Believe This One?

In the state of Georgia, a defendant in a crime broke into the sheriff's office and stole some weapons that were under a desk.

Judge H.Sol Clark, in the appeals court, describes the burglar's behavior as chutzpah. He said this as support of his finding, "The definition of Chutzpah in Leo Rosten's Joy of Yiddish of Chutzpah, is one who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself upon the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Can you believe it? The judge reversed the conviction. I can't believe it!

Williams v. State,, 126, Ga. App. 350, 190 S.E. 2dthe the  785 (Georgia Ct. App. 1972)


 In Illinois, a defendant was on trial for the murder of a prison kitchen supervisor. He objected to his public defender's refusal to call witnesses and went into the judge's chambers for a discussion. He threw a chair on his counsel's head and punched the judge.

He was convicted of the murder so he appealed because the judge and public defender could have been prejudiced against him because of his assaults.

His conviction was sustained.

People v. Hall, 114 Illinois 2d 376, 499 N.E.2d 1335 (1986)


Here is an interesting law in Nevada Revised Statutes, 642.480

Funeral directors in Nevada can be arrested for using profane language in the presence of a "dead human body."  Does this mean that to enforce this law, Nevada may need to have undercover police act as a dead body to collect the evidence. Sounds risky to me.


Sleepwalkers in Oklahoma need to be aware of this law: It is illegal to trespass at night and injure melons. ( I guess other fruits and vegetables are okay to step on.) Oklahoma Statutes, Title 21 1772


Traffic!Traffic!Traffic! Have you been caught in the lane for carpools and buses during rush hour?

It happened to the driver of a mortuary van. He was ticketed on an Orange County freeway for not having at least two occupants in the vehicle.

The driver took it to court and said the occupants were four frozen cadavers. However, the judge said the passengers must be alive to qualify. The driver had to pay the ticket.

People v. Hanshew, 5 Cal Rptr.2d 172 (California Ct. App. 1992)


I wonder how this law works in Oklahoma? If a driver of a car hits and kills a person, the driver must give his name, address, and vehicle registration to the person who was struck and killed. What does the deceased do with the information?  I wonder.  Oklahoma Statues, 47-10-104


Do you like soap operas? The state of Washington must have many drivers who do. A law forbids a TV in the front seat even during gripping soap operas. Revised Code of Washington. 46.37.480


A woman in New York and her new husband left their wedding reception. The groom later wanted to stop and get out of the car. He stood in front of it and told her to drive over him. She did.

The commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles revoked her driver's license. The woman thought that was excessive punishment and challenged the decision.  The commissioner said she could reapply for her license after thirty days. I don't know if she did. 

Bonitatibus v.Melton, 74 A.D. 2d 975,426 N.Y.S. 2d 188 (New York. App. Div. 1980

From Ludicrous laws & Mindless Misdemeanors by Lance S. Davidson 

I would love to have your comments on this. Pat Stinson

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