Written by wadenelson
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Sunday, 28 August 2005

image for California "Dumbs Down" Jury Instructions
Lance Ito instructing the jury....

Sacramento -- New, simpler jury instructions are being implemented by the California Judicial Council. Expressions heard over and over in television courtroom dramas such as "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" are being be dumbed down to "Pretty Dang Sure He Did It," in order to accomodate the typical slacker, err, California juror, said a spokesperson for the California Juidicial Council. "If someone's not smart enough to get off jury duty, they're definitely not going to understand habeus corpus."

Lawyers, cunning linguists by virtue of training, had muddied California's jury instructions with jargon, double negatives, and Latin phrases such as "Et Tu Brute?" since the last rewrite in the 1930's. "It was like DUDE!, like, speak English!" said an actor who portrays a lawyer in "Judging Amy." In deference to catfish, lawyers shall no longer be referred to as "bottom feeding scum-suckers" either in or out of the courtroom.

According to the California Judicial Council "The new instructions aren't perfect, but they're better than the ones you get with a Taiwanese bicycle -- we hope."

When jurors hear kidnapping cases, judges will no longer be required to explain that the perpetrator "inveigled" his victim. Instead, the judge may say that the suspect "enticed" his victim. If "enticed" is still too big a word, judges may now substitute "slapped and tickled."

The old instruction that "Innocent misrecollection is not uncommon" shall now read, "Now there you go again" in an ode to former Governor Ronald Reagan, who experienced great irritation when people quoted what he said back to him, but became President anyhow.

The Juidicial Council left the Miranda warning against wearing fruit salad as headgear intact. "Most of the people arrested in California,and elsewhere know Miranda by heart. (You have the right to remain silent.....lawyer...anything you say...)

Criminals often correct breathless rookie cops who get the phrases out of order, said one catfish, err, lawyer." Some things you don't mess with. Rosanne learned the hard way you don't mess with the National Anthem. And even the donut-eaters acknowledge that you don't mess with Miranda.

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