Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Florida clergyman who did not burn a Koran will be getting a new Hyundai for his forbearance. Terry Jones, the hitherto unknown pastor of a tiny congregation in Gainesville, Florida, became internationally famous when he threatened to burn a copy of the Koran. A publicity-hunting New Jersey car dealer in a radio advertisement called Jones the "idiot of the week" and offered him the use of a new Hyundai for a year if he promised not to burn the book.
Jones did not burn the book, but said it wasn't because of the promised car. Nevertheless, he subsequently claimed it from the dealer. Under Williams v. Carwardine, of course, the promised reward need not actually motivate the requested action. Since Jones had a legal right to burn a Koran, his agreement would be consideration for the promised car. The disparity in value between a new Hyundai ($14.200) and a copy of the Koran ($8.64 on Amazon) would of course be irrelevant.
FGS, with h/t to Celia Taylor (Denver) and Heidi Anderson (Florida Coastal).