America’s legal system makes the Kardashians look like an institution of higher learning. Still, judges just aren’t allowed to say “take this idiot out back and beat him,” which is why the following defenses truly didn’t get justice.
#7. Fake heart attack
Keison Wilkins’ incredible defense during his 2008 shooting trial was based heavily on playing dead, presumably thinking that if he didn’t move, the due process would lose interest and return to its cubs.
Anyone eager to enjoy Point Break again should watch the above video, thereby freeing Keanu Reeves from the position of “worst actor ever.”
The court confirmed Wilkins was faking it by using smelling salts (he jerked up like an electrocuted jack in the box, before attempting to return to his nap), having trained medics on hand, and not being goddamned idiots.
And just in case, Wilkins bolstered his defense argument by claiming the court was lynching him.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Katherine Huffman sentenced Wilkins to 42 years in prison.
#6. Master of defense
Quick: do you want to go to jail for 10 days — or 10 years? 10 days? Ok, let’s go to Salina, Kansas municipal court, 2009.
In the worst defense since the Detroit Lions decided “We’re just going to hand the other team the ball,” Michael Sampson managed to upgrade “driving with a suspended license and littering” to five felony charges in twenty seconds.
That’s almost a kilofelony per hour!
In some insane attempt to become the stupidest mime in history, during his trial he pointed at a testifying police officer, the state prosecutor, and the judge and made throat-slashing gestures. He also pointed at another police officer present (presumably for extra points) and mimed shooting him (artistic bonus).
The court quickly wrapped up the proceedings, finding Sampson guilty of driving on a suspended license while dismissing the littering charge. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 80 of those days suspended.
Sampson was then charged with four counts of making a criminal threat and one count of aggravated intimidation of a witness and can be sentenced to 10 years.
Unless there’s a fantastic cash prize for dumbest possible silent actions that hasn’t already been won by Charlie Chaplin we may never understand what he was at.
#5. “When women become hysterical, it is necessary sometimes to slap them to bring them around”
That’s the absolute worst thing you can say in a court room short of “I’m wired to explode” or “Ze Reich Vill Last Vun Sousand Years!” In fact it’s one of the worst things you can say period.
You couldn’t guarantee a conviction more if you bribed the jury – in fact, since that could force a retrial this is actually more effective. Especially when it’s said by the a man who is to equal rights what the internet is to punctuation.
Louis Palmer claimed that his victim agreed to a quick “fumble” with him late at night, so it’s nice to know that even in his sex fantasies he knows he sucks. She said he stalked her, pushed her against a wall, sexually-and-then-actually-assaulted her.
That’s when he won the Nobel Prize for Fifties Sexism, announcing that sometimes women needed a bit of physical violence to settle their unbalanced feminine vapors, but was immediately slapped down by Mr. Security Camera.
Even after all this, his fiancée married him, so we’d advise the police to check his possessions for the antidote and give it to her. There’s no love that strong. Remember, this man’s best-case defense was announcing in public “Listen, I just wanted to cheat on my wife in a filthy alley just before our wedding, okay?” At least now she has seven years to realize life without him might be better.
#4. Swearing at judge and sexually assaulting the prosecutor — over a dog case
That’s not the crime, that was the defense. Considering the case was only about a dangerous dog, we’re well past “porno that just happens to be in a courtroom” and dangerously close to “creepy fetish porno in the same courtroom.”
District judge Esther Cunningham was acting as solicitor to her friend (and as storage-unit for a bottle of brandy) when she forcibly kissed the prosecuting solicitor, before swearing at pretty much everyone in earshot including the judge.
Cunningham was thrown out of court, and later suspended for six months with £6,200 costs. That’s right, just a little time-out and then right back to judgin’ things. Britain.
#3. Double-rapist/murderer “too fat” to die
We’re not saying that some defense lawyers are soulless decay personified bent on throwing as many wrenches as possible into the working of a sane society by freeing murderers for money. In the case of Richard Cooey we don’t have to.
He raped, tortured, and killed two college students in 1986 and his legal team argued he was too fat to be executed. They argued that the cruel way we keep convicted and unrepentant double-killers in cells led to his weight gain — although it didn’t prevent him from trying to escape over a fence in 2005.
Presumably the judge pointed out that if Richard wanted to stay in shape, he should have chosen an exercise scheme which didn’t involve double murder.
They also argued that his medication might react badly to the lethal injection drugs, at which point we have to ask “How much worse can they react?”
Unless there’s a real chance of accidentally creating a morbidly obese murderer with superpowers we don’t see the problem. Luckily, the world is now exactly one lack-of-Richard Cooey better off. His last words, according to Cleveland.com, were obscenities.
#2. Wait…hijacking a plane is illegal?
On 19 April 2009, CanJet Flight 918 carrying 174 passengers and 8 crew was about to take off from Jamaica for Canada, but was seized by an armed hijacker demanding to be flown to Cuba. Following the breakdown of negotiations, which involved the president of Jamaica, the police stormed the aircraft and arrested one Stephen Fray.
Lawyer George Thomas said that his client should not be found guilty because…he didn’t understand that forcing his way onto an airplane, firing a gun into the ceiling, and taking everyone on board hostage was illegal.
If he said that with a straight face then screw legal work, somebody get George into acting immediately. Every second spent trying to keep crazed killers on the streets is another Academy Award he’s missing. Either that or it’s time to examine when someone stops “being an attorney” and starts being “aiding and abetting.”
It is literally impossible to do anything more illegal without killing someone. Since 9/11 airports have become a Mega City One except the people with the power to restrain and probe you aren’t Judge Dredd – they’re not even Judge Judy.
Nailclippers are now a class one hazard, so if someone seriously says that an actual gun didn’t set off their personal “maybe this isn’t a great idea sensors,” we need to lock them up before check if knives are on the “things babies can eat” list.
#1. I don’t remember firing my shotgun at police, and if I did, it was an accident
Michael Boyd is so bad at defense he should be deployed in enemy countries to make invasion easier. How much legal trouble you’re in can usually be worked out by where the “arguing line” is – are you arguing that you weren’t even there, or that you didn’t mean to kill the dirty punk?
Michael’s line is at “I picked up the loaded sawed-off shotgun while surrounded by armed police, but I don’t remember firing it.”
And just so you know, that gun was totally fired. At the police officers. Unless Casper exists and is significantly more anti-establishment than previously suspected Michael’s full of shit.
During his trial, he further admitted…
- Alright, alright: he meant to get into an armed standoff with police, but only to teach his girlfriend a lesson.
- Said lesson being: she can’t go running to the police every time he hits her.
- He argues that he didn’t “punch” her face, only “pushed” her face (PROTIP: when you’re arguing the choice of verb used to describe your hand interfacing with your girlfriend’s face, you’re the worst person ever).
- That shootout he started on purpose? His kids were in the house.
To recap, for those whose brains have trouble interpreting this level of idiocy: he fully admits triggering an armed confrontation with police while his kids were in the house after beating his girlfriend, further describes how he picked up a loaded gun, but argues that he didn’t meant to fire it.
In the most insane innocence acclamation since “I’m just holding this guys blood on my shirt to keep it warm,” he explained that he can’t have started firing because he knew he didn’t have enough shells to kill all the cops. So can they please let him go?