Doggerel decision

216 S.E.2d 356

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Division No. 3.
No. 50641.
May 9, 1975.

Defendant, contending that the State had unfairly won, appealed from judgment of conviction of the Superior Court, Chatham County, Dunbar Harrison, J. The Court of Appeals, Evans, J., being of the view that an opinion in rhyme was just fine, waxed poetic and did proclaim that defendant's prayer for one day's delay so that the jury, twelve good people honest and true, could his missing witness hear should not on deaf judicial ear have fallen and that the appeals judges, in earning their pay, would to be learned trial judge say, 'reversed.'

An opinion in prose the law does not demand, for judicial pronouncement may in poetry be if that suits the judge's hand; metrical line is not perverse and rhyme will do just fine.

Justice and fairness must at all times prevail lest the appeal court to the trial judge say, "you have erred in not giving defendant his day."

The law of this State does guard every right of those charged with crime, fairness always in sight.

To continue civil cases the judge holds all aces; but it's a different ball game in criminal cases.

With meticulous severity must the judicial eye view a civil litigant's motion to delay; however, with leniency must the judicial gaze fall on a criminal defendant's plea to give him another day.

Defendant's prayer for one day's delay should not on deaf judicial ear have fallen; for his refusal to budge the learned trial judge was entitled to a replay; "reversed," said the appeal judge in earning his pay, for who knows what the jury would say on hearing the missing witness the following day.
**356 *774 Robert J. Erb, Savannah, for appellant.
Andrew J. Ryan, Jr., Dist. Atty., Savannah, for appellee.
Syllabus Opinion by the Court

*771 EVANS, Judge.
[1]  The D. A. was ready His case was red-hot. Defendant was present, His witness was not.[FN1]
FN1. See Wheat v. Fraker, 107 Ga.App. 318, 130 S.E.2d 251, for precedent in writing an opinion in rhyme.

*772 He prayed one day's delay From His honor the judge. But his plea was not granted The Court would not budge.[FN2]
FN2. I profoundly apologize to Judge Sol Clark, of this Court, for invading the field of innovation and departure from normalcy in writing opinions; especially in the copious use of footnotes.

So the jury was empaneled All twelve good and true **357 But without his main witness What could the twelve do?[FN3]
FN3. This opinion is placed in rhyme because approximately one year ago, in Savannah at a very convivial celebration, the distinguished Judge Dunbar Harrison, Senior Judge of Chatham Superior Courts, arose and addressed those assembled, and demanded that if Judge Randall Evans, Jr. ever again was so presumptuous as to reverse one of his decisions, that the opinion be written in poetry. I readily admit I am unable to comply, because I am not a poet, and the language used, at best, is mere doggerel. I have done my best but my limited ability just did not permit the writing of a great poem. It was no easy task to write the opinion in rhyme.

The jury went out To consider his case And then they returned The defendant to face.
'What verdict, Mr. Foreman?' The learned judge inquired. 'Guilty, your honor.' On Brown's face-no smile.
'Stand up' said the judge, Then quickly announced 'Seven years at hard labor' Thus his sentence pronounced.
*773 'This trial was not fair,' The defendant then sobbed. 'With my main witness absent I've simply been robbed.'
'I want a new trial-State has not fairly won.' 'New trial denied,' Said Judge Dunbar Harrison.
'If you still say I'm wrong,' The able judge did then say 'Why not appeal to Atlanta? Let those Appeals Judges earn part of their pay.'
'I will appeal, sir'-Which he proceeded to do-'They can't treat me worse Than I've been treated by you.'
So the case has reached us-And now we must decide Was the guilty verdict legal-Or should we set it aside?
[2] Justice and fairness Must prevail at all times; This is ably discussed In a case without rhyme.[FN4]

[3] The law of this State Does guard every right Of those charged with crime Fairness always in sight.
[4] [5] *774 To continue civil cases The judge holds all aces. But it's a different ball-game In criminal cases.[FN5]
FN5. See Hobbs v. State, 8 Ga.App. 53, 54, 68 S.E. 515, is demonstrated that a motion to continue in a criminal case must not be
judged with the same meticulous severity as in civil cases.

Was one day's delay Too much to expect? Could the State refuse it With all due respect?
Did Justice applaud Or shed bitter tears When this news from Savannah First fell on her ears?
We've considered this case Through the night-through the day. As Judge Harrison said, 'We must earn our poor pay.'
This case was once tried-But should now be rehearsed And tried one more time. This case is reversed
Judgment reversed.

DEEN, P. J., and TOLZ, J., concur.
Ga.App. 1975.
Brown v. State,
134 Ga.App. 771, 216 S.E.2d 356