The Really Big Mean Dog School of Law: More Terms You Need To Know and Weirdness That Happens In Many Trials

October 19, 2014

The freaks come out at night…..and during the day….and the afternoon….and in court, ESPECIALLY IN COURT- Somewhere on earth

Hello students. Welcome to another titillating class on terms you need to know as well as the unfortunate weirdness that is inherent to most criminal proceedings. Please rise and face Florida for the singing of the class anthem. Deb? Two fingers are sufficient for the Florida salute and I don’t even want to know where you got the spare one you brought with you. I appreciate your enthusiasm Deb, but I do have my limits. No, I am not being all yelly and grilly. I’m very sorry your brain is scrambled right now, but no there is not a test so don’t worry. The fog is lifting? Good. I’m very happy. Yes it was very nice of you to bring Strawberry Frappuccino’s for everyone. Yes Deb we all love you. Class, please assure Deb we love her and Silly if you would be so kind as to retrieve the scissors that Deb seems to have stuffed in her purse. Thank you.

Today class, we are going to first deal with some more terms that you as lawyers are going to want to know. After that we are going to get into the part of the class that usually holds everyone completely enraptured. It is the section on all the freaky weird shit that usually ends up coming out at some point during a trial. For this section we will be dealing with State V Bashara, State V Arias, South Africa V Pusstorias and if time permits, a few others.

Before we start, your professor and dean of fuckery has something of some import to share. I usually refuse to cover cases that involve the death of small children. They quite frankly revolt and upset your professor so she is not right for days.  


Now on to todays lesson. As lawyers you know that there are eleventy billion terms that you are going to be required to at least pretend you know and understand. While it would take this law professor about a hundred years to cover all of them, I am trying to get to the ones that are especially important in making you look like you know what you are doing.

Probable Cause Hearing: Also known as a show-cause hearing. Show-cause hearings occur when either the police or the alleged victim of a crime file an application for a criminal complaint with the court. After an application has been filed, the court will send the defendant a notice in the mail requesting him or her to appear before a clerk-magistrate in a criminal show-cause hearing. The show-cause hearing may also be called a magistrate’s hearing or a criminal complaint hearing. At a show-cause hearing, the complaining party must produce evidence demonstrating “probable cause” that the defendant committed the crime.

Grand Jury: A panel of citizens that is convened by a court to decide whether it is appropriate for the government to indict (proceed with a prosecution against) someone suspected of a crime. The usual role of a grand jury is to review the adequacy of evidence presented by the prosecutor and then decide whether to indict the suspect. In some cases, a grand jury decides which charges are appropriate. Generally, grand jurors do not lead investigations, but can question witnesses to satisfy themselves that evidence is adequate and usable. The prosecutor prepares a bill of indictment (a list explaining the case and possible charges) and presents evidence to the grand jury. The jurors can call witnesses, including the target of the investigation, without revealing the nature of the case. They call witnesses by using a document called a subpoena. A person who refuses to answer the grand jury’s questions can be punished for Contempt of court. However, no witness need answer incriminating questions unless that witness has been granted Immunity. In federal courts, the jurors may accept Hearsay and other evidence that is normally not admissible at trial. If the grand jury agrees that there is sufficient reason to charge the suspect with a crime, it returns an indictment carrying the words true bill. If there is insufficient evidence to satisfy the grand jury, it returns an indictment carrying the words no bill.

Subpoena: a writ issued by a court of justice requiring a person to appear before the court at a specified time. Subpoena’s cannot be ignored and anyone failing to answer a subpoena is subject to contempt of court charges and is usually jailed for an indeterminate amount of time. Failing to answer a subpoena is an excellent way to piss off a judge.

arraignment: To call (an accused person) before a court to answer the charge made against him or her by indictment, information, or complaint. The reading of the charges into the record is done the first time at an arraignment.

Indictment: A written statement charging a party with the commission of a crime or other offense, drawn up by a prosecuting attorney and found and presented by a grand jury.

Sexting: This one is a relatively new term in law. It is exactly what it sounds like, but I will provide you with the legal definition anyway. Sexting refers to an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. The word is derived from the combination of two terms sex and texting. Sexting is a punishable offence in the U.S A person texting sexually explicit photographs of themselves, or of their friends or partners, if any of the pictures are of people that have not attained legal age, can be charged with distribution of child pornography and those who receive the images can been charged with possession of child pornography. The term was defined by the court in United States v. Broxmeyer, 2010

These terms will all appear on your next exam, so as always please memorize them.

Now onto weirdness that often appears in criminal cases because the skeleton closet is apparently a really small space.

In the case of State V Bashara, some of the more weird things that have become known during opening statements. Bashara is a bondage freak. He kept his very own dungeon, complete with whips, chains, assorted pointy instruments, had a mistress who thought Bashara was divorced (and boy is she pissed off) planned to bring another woman into the relationship with the mistress as a sex slave, according to his now dead wife had SEVERE ERECTILE DISFUNCTION ( apparently not so much as long as he was allowed to beat up his women prior to boning them) was into breathplay -choking for those of you who are confused. Completely coincidentally his wife was strangled to death. He liked to be called master bob by his bondage freak mistresses. As lawyers, by the time you get a big time criminal trial, most of this stuff should be old news, but just in case, be prepared because you just never know what kind of kinked out skeleton might come leaping out of that closet.

In State V Stabby Einstein your professor was pretty sure by then that she had heard everything. Then we found out about pot plants on the roof, missing and presumed dead dogs named doggy boy, yoga positions during interrogation, convicts digging through trash and singing to themselves in the interrogation room. A client that wanted to be her own lawyer and then she didn’t. And then she did, and then she didn’t. Her lawyer tried 9 times to have himself removed as first chair. There were forged letters. I thought to myself, well, how much worse can it get? And then the pop-rocks and tootsie pops came out. Anal sex, vaginal sex, sex tapes, phone sex, toblerone bars, hawt braids and bubblebaths, and mouth hugs. Jizz on the face, jizz on the back, jizz on the tits. There was enough jizz in that trial to float the fucking USS Indianapolis. Love sacs, adjustments, grinding, Christening sex, sex bent over desks. It was fucking sexapaloza in this trial. It’s a wonder anybody got anything done with the amount of banging going on. You as lawyers cannot let any of this throw you. Hell, you can’t even act surprised or disgusted. You have to pretend like all this is perfectly normal behavior. I guess some of it is, but once food items start getting inserted into various orifices I’m out, sorry.

South Africa V Poor, Poor Oscar Pusstorius. Well, at least this one doesn’t involve any weird sex that we are aware of. That’s okay though because there is more than enough weirdness without the salaciousness of weird sexual practices added into the mix. Shooting through closed bathroom doors, blue lights as opposed to any other light on the amp keeping someone awake, busting down a door with a cricket bat, cops stealing watches. Crime scenes trampled through by most of south Africa. Chains of custody being brought into question. Puke buckets in the courtroom. Black talon ammunition, which is armor piercing by the way, automatic weapons, firing shots through a car sunroof. Firing shots off in a crowded restaurant. The whole entire goddamn trial was nothing but one long list of weird. And that was before we discovered that mitigation witnesses were being paid and that the judge obviously has a super sekrit crush on poor, poor Oscar. As lawyers you must deal with all of this horse shit as well. Don’t blame me, you wanted to be lawyers.

That is it for tonight class. Don’t forget to study. We will be covering the outcome of the poor, poor, Pusstorius sentence during our next class.

Have a lovely evening
Class Dismissed.

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