Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Seventh Circuit gets literary

In today's Chicago Sun-Times, reporter Abdon Pallasch writes about a recent opinion from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals:

In a more-literary-than-usual opinion, federal appellate judges opened with Robert Burns and closed with Cinderella’s stepsister in upholding a witness-tampering decision.

The case involves the “incredibly bizarre” tale of Joseph Kalady, the 450-pound document forger who tried to fake his death by having his friend James Rand get a body-double who would be killed and left at Kalady’s house for authorities to presume to be Kalady.

“As Robert Burns observed, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” Judge Terence Evans wrote, explaining authorities realized the 185-pound man wasn’t Kalady. Kalady, his brother and Rand were all charged.

But Judge Ilana Rovner dissented, agreeing with Rand's attorneys that the case had nothing to do with witness-tampering.

“Rand’s actions simply do not fit within the plain language of this statute even with a shoehorn,” Rovner said. “As Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters taught us, no good can come of stuffing a foot into an ill-fitting shoe.”

The slip opinion is available at http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/2J0TB3OL.pdf.

hat tip: Ralph Brill



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