Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Nevada Supreme Court: Earning Those Taxpayer Dollars

Every other Thursday is wacky law day here in Nevada, when the Supremes announce a new batch of opinions. I look forward to wacky law day, because our judges follow the Las Vegas principle that entertainment is the most important concern.

Last August 25 was a bit of a disappointment, however, because they only handed down one opinion, Anderson v. State (as far as I can tell, not the same Anderson who attached electric wires to his crotch to win at blackjack). It's a mildly amusing tale of two cops who see a white truck barreling down the highway at 89 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone. They see that the driver has no shirt and a long beard, and the passenger was a young man in a maroon shirt. So the cops make a U-turn and stop the truck, and by the time they get the truck pulled over they see a) the kid in the maroon shirt is now behind the wheel, and the shirtless guy is tanked out of his skull. At trial, the bearded guy claimed there's no way he would have switched places in a truck doing 89, because that's really dangerous (you think?), but the jury didn't buy it.

Anyway, the thing got reversed by the Supremes, who said the prosecutor broke some rules by "appealing to the jurors’ civic duty while preying on their fears, vouching for the veracity of State witnesses, personally voicing opinions concerning the credibility of defense witnesses, attempting to shift the burden of proof, and impliedly referring to Anderson’s exercise of his right to remain silent." So Anderson goes back to court for a new trial.

That's a mildly entertaining story, I suppose, but it was the only case the Supremes published for that two-week period. I had to wait two more weeks, September 8, for the next batch.

And wouldn't you know it, they didn't publish anything.

How am I supposed to have wacky law day if my Supreme Court doesn't publish anything? I guess I could always google the Massachusetts Supreme Court web page...