The Last Confession: Chapter Thirty, Stay

In court on Monday morning, I argued as follows.

“Your Honor, the Defendant filed his demand for a speedy trial after his convictions were reversed by our court of appeals and his confession suppressed, but just this morning, I filed with the United States Supreme Court the State of California’s petition for writ of certiorari to reverse Brown v. Illinois, the Supreme Court’s decision upon which our appellate court relied. Therefore, the State is requesting that this Court stay the trial that you had to set so quickly upon the Defendant’s demand until we find out what the United State’s Supreme Court is going to do. If the Supreme Court denies California’s petition, we should know that in 90 days or less, but if the highest Court in the land grants California’s petition for writ of certiorari, then that most likely means that they are going to do something with the Brown decision or they wouldn’t have granted the petition in the first place.”

“Your Honor, this is clearly a delay tactic on the part of the State!” Duendes’ defense attorney, Sheila Youngblood, practically screamed while leaping to her feet to make her defense and to show Judge Connolly her long, shapely legs in her stiletto high heels and above her knees hemline of her tight skirt, knowing full well that Judge Connolly was going to enjoy this view from his bench.

I lacked all such fire power for my arguments, of course, so I had to rely exclusively on the law and the facts.

“Counsel ought not to make such unprofessional assertions without any facts or law to back them up, Your Honor,” I began to respond.

“Now, now, Counsel, I have the greatest respect for both of you,” assured Judge Connolly while his eyes tracked the curve of Ms. Youngblood’s legs starting at the former model’s thin ankles and riding up her calves and thighs whose shapes were visible because of defense counsel’s tight skirt, then over her lovely hips, then narrow waist, perfect bosom, graceful neck, and finally to her beautiful face where he saw her blue eyes looking straight into his and a slight smile on her glistening red lips.

“But Mr. Esslinger, WHY do you have any hope in the State’s petition to the United State’s Supreme Court being granted when the California Supreme Court denied your petition here the same week that they received it?” asked Judge Connolly without looking at me.

“Because our supreme court had no power to do anything with Brown v. Illinois, Your Honor,” I answered, “But, of Course, the United States Supreme Court does. May I explain a little further the reason for the State’s hopeful optimism?”

“Go ahead,” Judge Connolly said to me while keeping his eyes on opposing counsel who was pretending to be aghast at the State’s abuse of process so that she could breath heavily through her pretty nose while keeping her candy apple red lips pursed tightly together to show her disapproval but also looking like she was blowing the court a kiss while dramatically causing her bosom to rise and fall in a fashion that she knew Judge Connolly could not resist noticing. “Go right ahead, Mr. Esslinger, I’m all ears.”

“Your Honor, even in the Brown decision from 1975, the late Justice Lewis Powell cautioned in his concurrence that the exclusionary rule, which is not a right of the criminal defendant but only a judicial remedy meant to deter police misconduct, should only be used in cases of egregious misconduct like that which occurred in the Brown case. Justice Powell’s prescient caution unfortunately went unheeded when ten years later, the United States Supreme Court invoked Brown in a case that involved only a technically, but not clearly, illegal arrest and certainly not what Brown had termed “intimidating police misconduct.” That 1982 case was Taylor v. Alabama which has been heavily criticized in the legal journals by all sides across the political spectrum, most legal scholars siding with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s dissent that such application of Brown constitutes a miscarriage of justice, freeing the clearly guilty upon a mere technicality of the law, like what happened in this case, a thing our citizenry most despises. Your Honor, Brown was hailed upon it’s release as a logical extension of Miranda v. Arizona. However, Taylor has been roundly criticized, even by the most ardent civil libertarians. Add to this that the once mere justice who opined in his famous dissent in Dunaway v. New York, that Miranda should constitute the bulwark of protection for the accused in police custody, is now Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and California feels like it’s got a pretty good shot at convincing this latest makeup of the United States Supreme Court to at least trim back the erroneous Taylor decision even if it leaves Brown intact, which result would get our clearly voluntary and Mirandized confession in this case back for our local jury to consider when this case comes to trial before this Court in a few short months from now. Judge Connolly, JUSTICE requires a brief stay in these proceedings. That’s all the State asks.”

Now looking directly at me, Judge Connolly ruled, “The Court finds no abuse of process. Good luck, Mr. Esslinger. Stay is granted pending the decision of the United States Supreme Court.”

Sheila Youngblood collapsed back in her chair like a petulant child . . . making sure that Judge Connolly had a good chance to look up her skirt.


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