It has long been common in the U.S. criminal law system for people well below the age of 18 to be charged as adults, even though they're not. Why? "Because we feel like it!" explains former prosecutor and FOX TV legal expert Michael Nifong. [If you don't understand the reasoning here, that only proves what your teachers said: you're really not smart enough be a lawyer.]
One suggestion is that adults are eligible for the death penalty, while juveniles are not. "So if we really want to fry you, you gotta be an adult, pre-pubescent or not. Therefore you ARE adult." explains Attorney General Michael Mukasey. "Being devout Christians, we're in favor of capital punishment. Because let's face it - where would Christianity be today if Jesus had gotten probation?"
Nobody quite foresaw that all this might work in reverse. But it recently did, as federal prosecutors announced that murder defendant Herbert N. Schlombart, age 48, would be tried as a juvenile.
The logic behind this stunning turnabout? "Herb's very immature for his age." explains Nifong. "For any age, really. One example: he's constantly getting into fistfights over such things as whether Sony makes a better video game than Nintendo. Christ, who doesn't outgrow that kind of behavior by age 12? Herb, that's who."
Court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Fraud agreed. "Schlombart is a textbook case of an intellect which stopped developing in adolescence. His body grew up, but not his mind. When I suggested this to Herbert himself, he replied 'What the fuck you lookin' at, faggot?' which clinched the diagnosis for me."
ACLU lawyer Sid Shysterberg, representing Schlombart, was pleased at the announcement. "If children can be tried as adults, there's no reason why adults can't be tried as children. Or as my client himself said, 'Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah nyaah nyaah! In your face, peckerbreath! I WIN!!!"
Death-penalty advocates were enraged. Ann Coulter said, "He's 48! That's forty-fucking-eight! How the hell could he be a juvenile? It's not like calling 12-year olds 'adults'. That makes sense, even though we had to hang them because they were too small to strap into the electric chair. So juveniles are adults, but that logic only works in one direction, people."
Yet legal insiders hint that the government's desire to avoid executing Schlombart is the very reason for trying him as a juvenile. After all, he is a Chicago police officer, arrested for shooting into a crowd of antiwar protesters, killing 11 of them. "No biggie." said an anonymous Justice Department spokesman. "In fact those troop-hating bums should have apologized to Herb for getting in the way of his shots, just like Harry Whittington did to Vice President Cheney.
"We wanted to charge Herb with disorderly conduct and fine him $40, but that bleeding-heart liberal judge insisted on calling this 'murder'. So we did the next best thing and charged him as a juvenile."
Still, there was some concern that this precedent of "charging people as what they clearly are not" could start us down a slippery slope. Already, John T. Whitebread, a 41-year old white Lutheran married father of 3 arrested for terrorism after forgetting to declare the nail-clipper in his pocket to airport screeners, will be tried as a 24-year-old Muslim Arab associate of Osama bin Laden named Ashur du Smelbad. "Let's see Whitebread, uh, I mean Smelbad squirm out of this now!" declared triumphant prosecutors.
All 8 members of the housekeeping staff at Senator Hillary Clinton's mansion, arrested for illegally immigrating from Mexico, were released after Hillary intervened to have them charged as native-born U.S. citizens. "I need them all here." said the Senator. "Hell, you think I can afford to hire people who'd want minimum wage? My campaign treasurer would disagree."
And when Ethel Fishbein, a 58-year old Jewish woman, was arrested for smoking marijuana, she thought she'd get off relatively lightly. "After all, I had a prescription for the marijuana. My doctor told me it would reduce the nausea from my chemotherapy. He was right." Imagine her surprise to find herself charged as a 30-year old black man, these being much easier to convict for distribution of crack cocaine.
Fishbein complained, "As if I didn't have enough problems with cancer - these meshuggah prosecutors make me into a black man! They took me to the same doctor who worked on Michael Jackson, and whatever he did to Michael, he did the same thing in reverse to me. I didn't mind the injections of melanin, but getting that penis grafted on hurt like hell."