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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Sort-of Legal Defense

I was skimming through one of those emails the other day. You know the ones. They humorously attempt to explain the Southern mind, culture and/or dialect. I was brought to a halt and a chuckle by this one:
“Be advised that ‘He needed killin.’ is a valid defense down here.”

I immediately recalled a story told to me by a newsroom editor when I was a reporter in . . . some Southern state.

(Disclaimer: I have no independent verification of the veracity of this tale. He mighta been pullin’ my leg. Additionally, I do not support violence as a solution to domestic problems.)

With that said -- --

I was working as a newspaper reporter, newly separated, and going through a none-too-pleasant divorce. No, not from Mike. One of my editors had told me – jokingly, I’m sure – that it really wasn’t necessary to go through the divorce torment. “With all your dad’s contacts (former county Sheriff), he’s bound to know someone who’ll do a hit on this guy for you and end this quickly,” the editor told me. I laughed him off, and then one day he said with what I believed to be mock seriousness, “You don’t understand. It’s legal to kill no-good husbands in this state.”

Here’s the story he told. Names, of course, are fictitious.

Ol’ George was no good. He drank way too much, and he beat up regularly on his wife Mabel. Everybody knew it.

One night George came home three sheets to the wind and told Mabel about all the things she did wrong and that he was going to beat the heck out of her. But he was too tired right then, so he was going to take a nap and take care of her when he woke up. George passed out on their bed.

After a while, Mabel went to the closet, took out the rifle, walked into the bedroom, put it at the side of his head and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. She tried again, but it still didn’t fire. Mabel went into the bedroom of their 14-year-old son and woke him up. “There’s something wrong with the rifle,” she said. “It won’t fire.”

The boy groggily got out of bed, took the gun out on the porch and fiddled with it for a couple of minutes. He walked back into the house and handed it to his mother, saying that it was all right now. Mabel took the gun back into the bedroom, pointed it at George’s head and pulled the trigger. Which worked just fine now. George was dead.

A jury of her peers later dismissed charges against her. She never served a day in jail. Ya see, George just needed killin’.


naruto episode said...
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Willow Goldentree said...

Wow! Uhh...I might want to rethink a visit to the South. *wink*