Tuesday, May 20, 2003
The Nutty Ninth Circuit: In a ruling that defies common sense -- and should surprise no one -- the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the most-overturned court in the nation) has ruled that a bank robber who had a gun stuck in the waistband of pants should not have been convicted of "armed robbery" because he "didn't mean to show the gun" to the teller.
I am not making this up.
Ninth Circuit Judge Richard Clifton conceded in his written opinion that the decision ''may seem anomalous'' because it meant that defendants who brandish toy guns could be convicted of armed bank robbery while those who have real guns hidden in their pants could not.
So, you can carry a loaded pistol while robbing a bank, but you can't be convicted of "armed" robbery unless you're actually forced to pull it out and use it when confronted by a security guard or cop.
Horse sense is not a job requirement for the federal appeals courts -- but it should be.