Joke on how someone beat the legal system

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On of my colleagues shared this story with me about a court case many years ago in Tennessee. It was a capital homicide trial, and the defense was on the ropes. The defendant was guilty as could be. What happened though? In the summation, at the very end of the case, after the defense attorney gave a dazzling performance and cast plenty of doubt over the jury, the prosecution approached the jury for the summation.

Smoking was permitted in courthouses at that time. The defense attorney lit up a huge cigar just as the prosecution starts. The jury started paying attention to him instead of the prosecutor giving the closing and the prosecutor was rambling on for a very long period of time. This attorney kept smoking and the ash grew longer and longer on his cigar over about an hour. The jury kept paying attention to this attorney and the ash on his cigar. They were mesmerized. He smoked it until most of the cigar was ash, but he managed to keep the ash on the cigar entirely intact. He then pulled out a paper clip as the jury was watching him by now and ignoring the prosecutor, as if he were a street performer. He unbent the paperclip and made it a straight wire. He then pierced the cigar ash with the paperclip and twirled it around with a smirk on his face as if he had just gotten away with something.

The verdict came out a few hours later, not guilty, and he just smiled and exited the courthouse with his client.

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never heard that story, but there was an attorney here (who is now deceased) who would insert a long straight pin into his cigar during a trial, for basically the same diversion purposes. the stories come up every time we have a get together here, mainly from his son and current members of his firm.

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