Evans J

This case is rehearsed // reversed

Brown was accused of a drug offence. One of his key witnesses was unavailable at trial. Judge Harrison of the Court of Appeals of Georgia refused to grant an adjournment, and Brown was convicted as a result. On appeal, the defendant argued that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. Reversing the decision of Judge Harrison, the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial. In allowing the appeal, one member of the Court -- Evans J -- took the unconventional measure of giving his reasons in rhyming couplets -- apparently in response to a challenge issued by Judge Harrison one year previously. The poem is, with respect to Evans J, not in the league of Yeats or Auden -- indeed, his Honour is the first to observe that 'the language used, at best, is mere doggerel' and, perhaps by way of justification, that it was 'no easy task to write the opinion in rhyme'. We do not have such things in Australia.

The D A was ready
His case was red-hot.
Defendant was present,
His witness was not.[fn1]

He prayed one day’s delay
From His honor the judge.
But his plea was not granted
The Court would not budge.[fn2]

So the jury was empanelled
All twelve good and true
But without his main witness
What could the twelve do?[fn3]

The jury went out
To consider his case
And then they returned
The defendant to face.

“What verdict, Mr Foreman?”
The learned judge inquired.
“Guilty, your honor.”
On Brown’s face — no smile.  Read more »

Citation: Brown v State, 134 Ga App 771, 216 S E 2d 356 (1975)
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