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Justice Bedsworth Feels The Pain of Cops and Prosecutors (but the dog gets fed!)


Justice Bedsworth, of the California Court of Appeals, returns with his, not to be missed, November column in the Orange County Lawyer Magazine:

Is That a Kielbasa in Your Pocket? Time for year-end awards to be passed out. Here’s the first one”:

“…God, in Her wisdom, has seen to it that the Yankees still haven’t won a pennant in the 21st Century, so we know that there are some fronts on which the forces of evil and sloth have been reduced to a holding action. But a year that winds down with the Secretary of the Treasury holding a gun to the economy and saying, “Give me $700 billion dollars in unmarked bills or Wall Street dies,” is not one you’re gonna want to paste into your memory book next to the senior prom.

So I am especially pleased to brighten your skies with the announcement of the winner of this year’s annual Jimmy Dean Best Crime Committed With a Sausage Award….

I was a prosecutor for 15 years. I can imagine the consternation generated in the D. A.’s Office by the collective effort to figure out what felony Antonio might have had in mind. I’m sure their Sausage Crimes Task Force has been burning the midnight oil trying to find a felony that fits these facts. “Let’s see, what crime involves rubbing meat seasoning on your victim? Uh, well that would be . . . um . . . uh . . .that would be . . . um . . . Well, wait a minute; the guy was half-naked. Obviously, his intent with the seasoning was to . . . to . . . uh . . . Um, the sausage; don’t forget the sausage. Clearly, he was going to commit the crime of . . . the crime of . . . Aw, sh_t, it’s gotta be something!” ….
This question was directed to Lieutenant Ian Burrimond of the Fresno Sheriff’s Department. Lieutenant Burrimond – a man who must have done something VERY bad in his last life to get stuck with this case – was forced to look right into the camera and say that – unfortunately – the sausage was discarded by the suspect as he fled . . . and . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . EATEN BY THE VICTIMS’ DOG!

That’s right. In the immortal words of Lieutenant Burrimond, “The dog ate the weapon.”

This is, of course, not the best defense ever devised. Any kid who ever tried to explain his failure to produce a homework assignment with the claim that it was eaten by the family dog can attest to the general ineffectiveness of this strategy….” (read full Bedsworth column, if you dare.)

Previous Bedsworth tales of woe and law (and food and animals) can be found at May it Please the Court.

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