Over in Williamson County, Tennessee — just north of my home — prosecutors actually filed a motion asking the court to order a defense attorney to stop calling them “the government” in open court. Yes, that’s right — in my home state, it’s apparently now a slur to call the government by its name. In its motion, prosecutors claimed:
“The State has noticed in the past few years that it has become commonplace during trials for attorneys for defendants, and especially Mr. Justice, to refer to State’s attorneys as ‘the Government,’ ” [prosecutors wrote.] “The State believes that such a reference is used in a derogatory way and is meant to make the State’s attorney seem oppressive and to inflame the jury.”
This is a great little story by itself, but then the defense attorney, Drew Justice, went and committed an act of pure awesomeness. He filed a motion with his own request:
He demanded his client no longer be referred to as “the Defendant,” but instead be called “Mister,” “the Citizen Accused” or “that innocent man” — since all defendants are presumed innocent until a judge or jury finds them guilty. As for himself, clearly “lawyer” or “defense attorney” wouldn’t do him, well, justice.
Hat Tip: SR