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 Texas : Features : Columns : "It's All Trew"

Justice
often comes with theatrics

by Delbert Trew
Delbert Trew

Down through time, true justice was sometimes hard to come by, depending on which side of the law you were standing. Net worth of the accused, the brilliance or ignorance of the lawyers involved, and the ineptness of the arresting officers often determined the outcome. The truth was sometimes distorted by the slightest effort or figure of speech, just enough to tip the scales of justice one way or another. Here are a few examples:

A scruffy, hard-looking defendant will usually appear in court with a fresh shave and haircut, blue suit, white shirt, necktie and freshly-shined shoes. One such transformation left the defendant's mother distraught as she did not recognize her son, believing she was at the wrong trial. Only after he spoke to her did she settle down.

Courtroom theatrics by lawyers would fill volumes, often testing the temper of the presiding judge. One old-time courtroom dictum stated, "When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the facts are against you, pound the table."

An interesting courtroom drama was recently reported in The San Angelo Livestock Weekly during an interview with an old-time Texas Ranger named Bob Favor who spent 34 years as a law officer. During the interview he told of the many escapades he experienced in his career, some were dangerous and others outright comical. There were a few habitual criminals he arrested so many times they actually became friends of a sort.

One of Favor's favorite stories came about when he arrested a man who had burglarized several car dealerships. Along with the arrest was plenty of solid evidence in hand leaving little doubt they had the right thief.

When trial day came, a jury of 12 men was seated. The defendant entered the courtroom followed by a beautiful, well-endowed woman with a babe in arms. He was very attentive as he helped her be seated right in front and facing the jury box. All assumed it was the defendant's family.

Throughout the day the baby cried occasionally and the woman unbuttoned her blouse so the baby could nurse. It seemed each time the prosecutor was presenting damaging evidence, the nursing would begin again, thus diverting the jurors attention from the facts to the tranquil domestic scene right before their eyes.

The defendant was eventually acquitted, released and left town immediately. Later after a few victory cocktails, the defending lawyer admitted the woman at the trial was not the man's wife. In fact, they did not even know each other. The woman had been hired to play the part, right off nightclub row in Fort Worth where she worked as a stripper. The baby had been borrowed from one of her friends.

Now, the ploy was successful no doubt as the defendant went free. Evidently the domestic courtroom act met the decorum of the bench as the judge did not intervene. Can we really say it was a "justifiable distraction" and that justice was truly served?

June 2 , 2010 Column Delbert Trew
More "It's All Trew"
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail at trewblue@centramedia.net. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears weekly.

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