Captain Justice Responds to Government's Motion to Ban the Word "Government"

In a fairly recent criminal case in Tennessee, an Assistant District Attorney General asked the judge to make the defense attorneys stop calling her "the Government," even though she actually represented the government, which was charged with prosecuting the defendant. That's the way trials work. The DA claimed that the term was derogatory and prejudicial. She  suggested an alternative title of "General R______." The defense attorney, appropriately named Drew Justice, issued a response to the request. He opened with a free speech claim, but then it got better, as the defense came up with acceptable terms for their side. First, the defendant should be referred to by his full name.

Alternatively, he may be called simply "the Citizen Accused." This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal "Defendant." The designation "That innocent man" would also be acceptable.

Moreover, defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a "lawyer," or a "defense attorney." Those terms are substantially more prejudicial than probative. See Tenn. R. Evid. 403. Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the "Defender of the Innocent." This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent.

Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation "Guardian of the Realm."

Further, the Citizen Accused humbly requests an appropriate military title for his own representative, to match that of the opposing counsel. Whenever addressed by name, the name "Captain Justice" will be appropriate. While less impressive than "General," still, the more humble term seems suitable. After all, the Captain represents only a Citizen Accused, whereas the General represents an entire State.

There's more to the response. Ya know, if the word "government" has become so derogatory as to prejudice a jury, maybe the government should do something about its reputation instead of hiding its role. Read the whole story at Lowering the Bar. -via Metafilter


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State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people." It is a lie! - Nietzsche
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They call me "Preeminent Autarch, Supreme Commander".

I am the only Essential Government Employee.

I decree that 30% of Government Employees are unnecessary and put them on permanent furlough, er, you're fired.
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Is there any wonder government has become a dirty word in certain states when the party that controls them have been utterly dedicated to making it just that and have tried to make the necessary activities involved in running a country seem like some horrendous act of oppression? They stigmatized welfare, they stigmatize any attempt at healthcare reform, they stigmatized liberal and now they're trying to make government itself seem toxic and doing a good job as, lets face it, they're just considerably better at branding than their opponents.

Either way, are the actions of people in Washington somehow the responsibility of people there to enforce the laws of the land? Not really, so calling the prosecution the government is a calculated move from a lawyer to try and get his client off using the political biases of the jury rather than on the merits of his case. It's not really a laudable act however you feel about the government.
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