Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why I have been away

So, I was over at Chico Hot Springs in Pray Montana for our annual Criminal Defense Continuing Legal Education. There is nothing more fun than all that drinkin, smokin, cussin and braggin that goes on with criminal defense attorneys.
I was standing outside and telling one of my best war stories. It involved a sexual intercourse without consent charge. The prosecution during voir dire was explaining that the defendant was alleged to have forced a woman to perform oral sex on him.
About that time, the first juror in the box, a single female, 60 years old raises her hand and says "Miss, Miss, can I ask a question."
The prosecutor, sensing an opportunity to establish rapport with a potential juror said "Sure, what is your question?"
The juror then asked what the punishment was for this crime. Now in Montana, juries only decide guilty or not guilty, except in capital cases, so it would have been inappropriate for the prosecutor to say what it was.
However, wanting to take the sting away from telling the juror to shut up, it was none of her business, she turned to the judge and asked if he would answer the question. Hoping the judge would tell the juror that she was not supposed to be concerned with punishment.
Instead, the judge, a former prosecutor turned to me and asked if I had any objections?
No objection your Honor, I replied. Whereupon the judge started intoning "The maximum punishment for this crime is life in prison, with not less than two years, nor more than 100."
At this the juror blurted out "That's an awful long time for a blow job isn't it?
Just as I finished telling this story, I heard someone laughing, and looked over to see Karla Grey, the Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court laughing along with us.
Only in Montana.

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