Thursday, November 07, 2002
Fritz Schranck has noted the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit purporting to find as a matter of fact that the Space Alien of the Weekly World News does not really exist. This reminded me (showing perhaps the odd ways my mind works) of my other favorite example of a federal appellate decision purporting to deflate a myth -- though in my example, the decision was issued about 20 years before the myth was widely disseminated. It's Shaw v. Garrison, 467 F.2d 113 (5th Cir. 1972), declaring that New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison was nutty in his prosecution of Clay Shaw in connection with the assassination of JFK. Take that, Kevin Costner and Oliver Stone. Or does this mean, perhaps, that the Fifth Circuit's Shaw decision is -- as the First Circuit's decision on the WWN clearly is -- merely another brick in the wall of the big coverup?
On a more serious legal note, Shaw v. Garrison is a great case to cite any time your client is the target of a politically- or otherwise nuttily-motivated criminal prosecution and you need to pull out all the stops to fight it.
posted by sam 8:24 PM
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