Off To Court

To defend my client in federal court. And what, you ask, is he accused of doing that would be so terrible, so dangerous, so horrific, that the nationwide impact necessitates a federal response?

Indecent exposure in the Talladega National Forest.

Don’t worry I won’t make any of the standard jokes about stiff sentences or hung juries.

Still, you learn something new every day at this job. When my client first called and told me he was charged with violating an Alabama statute, but had to go to federal court, I spent fifteen minutes telling him both of those statements could not be correct. I was wrong. 

There is a federal statute that adopts for “federal enclaves” the laws of the state in which the enclave is located. There is no federal statute prohibiting monkey spanking in public, but there is an Alabama statute prohibiting such conduct. Thus, when it occurs in a federal enclave, as it is here alleged to have occurred in the Talladega National Forest, what would otherwise be a state misdemeanor becomes a federal offense. Amazing.

So the crime is defined by Alabama law, but whose procedural rules control? And whose rules of evidence? And is the penalty the Alabama penalty, or the fed’s? The answers: Fed’s, Fed’s, Alabama sets minimum and maximum but Fed Guidelines determine within that range.

The whole thing is kind of Eerie.

Explore posts in the same categories: Trials

6 Comments on “Off To Court”

  1. Kathy Says:

    You lucky man — what a way to spend your Friday.

  2. […] Notice I did not say President, as I am not convinced that this is a possibility. My good friend Wheeler, who is in court today for an odd case, has a great piece about why he think that Artur Davis might be a presidential candidate. The more I hear from Davis, the more I like him. Hugh McInnish can stump for Jeff Sessions all he wants, but in my mind Davis is the only Alabama politician with any chance for national advancement. […]

  3. JCH Says:

    heh, it is kind of Eerie… nice tie in.

  4. Wheeler Says:


    i was betting you would be the one to catch that.

  5. Loretta Nall Says:

    Jerking off in the Talladega National Forest is a Federal Offense now? Wow! That is unbelievable!!!
    Will those convicted of such an offense be labled sex offenders as well?

  6. wheeler Says:

    yeah, if he is convicted he will be labeled a sex offender. he won’t be subject to the community notification act, but will have to register with his local sherif, and do so again every time he moves for the rest of his life.

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