Sunday, November 02, 2008

More court-martial follies

Again courtesy of my colleague Capt Mike Burnat, this excerpt shows why military judges should read the record before authenticating it:

MJ: "I have been probably qualified and sworn and detailed to this court-martial by . . . ."

And in the least competent witness department, a military judge made this observation: "in its 20 years in the Air Force, the court has never seen a witness incorrectly raise the wrong hand when taking an oath . . . ."

1 comment:

Christopher Mathews said...

I once received a call from a military judge in the process of reviewing a record of trial, who wanted to know what I meant in sentencing argument when I said "Crowns the Lord!" He was afraid a religious exhortation had slipped by him, and that the case might have problems on appeal as a result.

I was really, really sure I hadn't said anything about crowns or the deity, but it took a while to figure out the mistake. As it happens, the court reporter was a very devout woman, who -- when I referred to the accused's many many criminal escapades with the phrase "Crimes galore!" -- just filled in a phrase that must have seemed more pleasing to her ears.

Appropriate corrections were made prior to authentication.