This is What Happens When a Criminal with the Mind of a Child Acts as His Own Counsel

childish criminal

At the end of my last post, I referred to Dana Milbank’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion that there was no quid pro quo because Trump intended no quid pro quo. Actually, that’s pretty much his actual position—which illustrates the point that, yes, irony has well and truly died.

I am reminded of a story I read some years ago. (I’ll get the details wrong, but the gist of the thing is correct.)

Bill, an unruly middle school student, is charged with murdering his science teacher during third period class. Billy exercises his constitutional right to function as his own defense counsel. His sole defense is that he did not intend to kill Mr. Jones.

Billy takes the stand and testifies. The following cross-examination then follows.

Q:        So it’s your testimony that you took a loaded handgun to school on the 23rd?

A:         Yes.

Q:        And did you intend to take the gun to school?

A:         Yes, I did.

Q:        And did you intend to put bullets into the gun?

A:         Yeah.

Q:        Did you have the loaded handgun in your pocket when you entered your third period class?

A:         Right.

Q:        And did you intend to enter Mr. Jones’ classroom with the loaded gun in your pocket?

A:         Yes, I did.

Q:        Now you and Mr. Jones had an argument during class, didn’t you?

A:         We sure did.

Q:        And you took the gun out of your pocket, correct?

A:         That’s right.

Q:        And when you took the gun out of your pocket, you knew what you were doing, right?

A:         Yes.

Q:        You then pointed the loaded gun at Mr. Jones’ face. Is that correct?

A:         Yes, I did.

Q:        And you intended to point the gun at his face, didn’t you?

A:         Yes, I did.

Q:        And isn’t it true that, while the loaded gun was pointed at Mr. Jones’ face, you pulled the trigger?

A:         That’s right.

Q:        And did you intend to pull the trigger?

A:         Yes.

Q:        No further questions.