Some Mildly Humorous Quotes from the Criminal Trial
The court transcript includes some mildly humorous lines. Obviously, they’re more humorous to those who are reading along through the entire transcript, but they’re good enough that I thought maybe after all I’ve posted, a few lines to lighten things a bit might be acceptable.
The first is a zinger from Arseny’s lawyer, Edward A. Delaney.
Smitkin: Now, you were instrumental in causing the arrests of these defendants, weren’t you?
Court/Judge: Well, that is a statement. Put a question.
Smitkin: Were you instrumental in causing the arrest of these defendants?
Delaney: I think they were instrumental in it.
The Second is an Exchange between the judge and Smitkin
Court: but you have no right to repeat and waste time. that is a waste of time. He says he knew her. Now, go on.
Smitkin: I am going to go on in the proper way.
Court: You will go on as the Court directs you. We have a thousand cases to try in these courts, and you must no consume time by your theatrical pose here.
Smitkin: I never thought I was gifted with that, your honor.
Court: Well, you are. You waste more time than any attorney in these courts.
Judge Mulqueen was obviously tiring of the case and later, on p. 122, he says, “I would like to get this case finished.” I have to say, by page 122, I could relate to a small degree. This is one long transcript!
Pages 132-3 provide a nice exchange as well
Smitkin: I have a ight to press my question, whether she did not testify yesterday afternoon that she did have a conversation with these two men, and that all she said was what they told her to say.
Court: Well, she does not know what ‘conversation’ means. She said these men took her and she signed that affidavit on the promise of money.
Smitkin: Now, while nothing pleases me more than to have your honor correct me, it does seem to me that your honor–
Court: Well, where is the testimony of yesterday? [Smitkin was able to proceed from there.]
Finally, there is the judge’s theory of linguistic interpretation:
Court to interpreter: You are a mere phonogaph, that is all.
In other words, the language was to go in literally and come out literally. Translating is not always quite so easy.
There are other areas that are mildly humorous. On 221, for example, Garvan tells Smitkin to ask a question and not make a speech Overall, the trial transcript is long and a little convoluted, but the punctuated one liners do help with the reading. Thank God for wit!