Don’t Pre-Judge My Client Simply Because He Is Covered in Blood

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Thank you, Your Honor.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the great thing about our system of justice is that it allows you to hear both sides of the story and then decide.  Now, the prosecutor has told you one side and one view of events.  And yes, my client, Adalberto Cardoso, did break into a McDonald’s restaurant in Pawtucket at 3 a.m. on Friday.  He doesn’t dispute that.  Nor does he dispute that he was covered in blood and wearing only boxer shorts at the time, although I ask you to remember that both the blood and the shorts were his own.  There is no crime in that.  My client also does not dispute that he jumped out of the broken window, struggled with police, punched a police dog, and then jumped back into the McDonald’s, got on top of the milkshake machine and started throwing "handfuls of milkshake" at the officers when they entered.  But I ask you, have we come to the point in this country where throwing a "handful of milkshake" constitutes assault on a police officer?  I think not.

And the fact that the video of the milkshake-throwing is one of the most popular on YouTube, as the prosecutor kept bringing up, does not make my client guilty.

The prosecutor would also have you believe that my client intentionally pulled the milkshake machine from the wall and bit into the electrical cord in some kind of misguided attempt to harm himself and the police.  Yes, the machine fell over during the struggle, and yes, the cord was caught between my client’s teeth.  An accident, ladies and gentlemen, due to the reckless actions of the police.  He did say, "I’m going to kill us all," but you’ve heard him say that he meant it as an expression of regret about his clumsiness. And I believe him.  You couldn’t kill anyone with 220 volts, let alone four police officers and a ferocious police dog.  We all know that.

And now the prosecutor asks you to blame this man — this cold, desperately hungry, pantsless man — for seeking shelter and food.  That’s not right.  Where is the blame for the real villain here?  Why isn’t McDonald’s in this courtroom, answering for its attractive depictions of food so addictive, so mouthwateringly tasty, that a grown man would be driven to smash through the windows with his bare hands at 3 a.m. in order to get a Quarter Pounder?  Another corporation getting away scot-free, blaming the consumer.  He’s not "Lovin’ It" now, is he?

I ask you to return a verdict of not guilty.  Thank you.

Link: BoingBoing
Link: The Pawtucket Times