"Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
— Cardinal Richelieu
"500 years ago, military officers would upend a drum on the battlefield. They'd sit at it and dispense summary justice. Decisions were quick, punishments severe; appeals denied. Those who came to a drumhead were doomed."
—Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Drumhead"
Damar: It is my duty to inform you that you will be turned over to a Cardassian Tribunal where you will be tried as war criminals.
Ezri: War criminals? What are the charges?
Damar: That is not necessary for you to know. All you need to know is that you will be found guilty and executed.
"We will now deliberate and return with a guilty verdict."
— Judith Draper, 3rd Rock from the Sun
Captain Blackadder: I wouldn't be too confident if I were you, any reasonably impartial judge is bound to let me off.
Captain Darling: Well, absolutely.
Blackadder: Who is the judge, by the way?
**General Melchett, the accuser, enters the room**
Blackadder: I'm dead.
General Melchett: Well, come on, then. Come on. Get this over in five minutes, and then we can have a spot of lunch. The court is now in session, General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmenay Melchett in the chair. The case before us is that of the crown vs. Captain Edmund Blackadder, the Flanders pigeon murderer! Oh, Clerk, hand me the black cap, I'll be needing that.
Blackadder: I love a fair trial.
Melchett: Anything to say before we kick off, Captain Darling?
Captain Darling: May it please the court, as this is clearly an open and shut case, I beg leave to bring a private prosecution against the defence council for wasting the court's time.
Melchett: Granted. The defence council is fined fifty pounds for turning up.
"I will see to it that you receive a fair trial, after which you will be shot."
— General Burkhalter, Hogan's Heroes
"I object, your honor! This trial is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."
"The justice is swift in the court of miracles/I am the lawyers and judge all at one/We'd like to get the trial over with quickly/Because it's the sentence that's really the fun!"
— Clopin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, "The Court Of Miracles"
"You will play the role of the prosecuting attorney. On Alternia, there is no such thing as a defense attorney, or a defense. In a courtblock, the word defense itself is offensive."
"Before the full investigation is underway, a legislacerator will always have a chief suspect in mind. The one she will hold guilty until proven otherwise, a process customarily taking place after the execution."
"Sentence first! Verdict afterwards."
— The Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland
"Koopa Court is now in session! Bailiff Mouser, read those phony charges you and I cooked up!"
— Bowser, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show
Beadle Bamford: Thank you, Your Honor. Just the sentence we wanted.
Judge Turpin: Was he guilty?
Beadle Bamford: Well, if he wasn't, he's surely done something to warrant a hanging.
Judge Turpin: What man has not?
Witness: I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I've known Fielding Mellish for years and he's a warm, wonderful human being.
Fielding Mellish: Uh, would the clerk read that statement back please?
Court Clerk: "I've known Fielding Mellish for years and he's a rotten, conniving, dishonest little rat."
Fielding Mellish: Ok, I just wanted to make sure you were getting it.
"Clevinger had a mind, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf had noticed that people with minds tended to get pretty smart at times. Such men were dangerous, and even the new cadet officers whom Clevinger had helped into office were eager to give damning testimony against him. The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with."
Superwoman: When next we meet, Superman, it'll be in "court"!
Superman: (thinking) Yes...you, me, and the kangaroos!
— Superman #349, "The Turnabout Trap!"
Mayor: Evidence? That's not how our court system works.
Aang: Then how can I prove my innocence?
Mayor: Simple — I say what happened, then you say what happened, and then I decide who's right. That's why we call it "justice," because it's just us.
That's the night when the lights went out in Georgia
That's the night when they hung an innocent man
So don't trust your soul to some backwoods Southern lawyer
'Cause the judge of the town's got bloodstains on his hands
— Vicki Lawrence, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia"
Jones: Our clients plead guilty, your honor.
Roy: What?!? No, we don't!
Jones: Yes you do. Listen, here there are two types of accused: those who plead guilty, and those who piss off the judge with a time-consuming trial before being found guilty.
Rodriguez: The conviction rate is 114%, and that doesn't even make sense!
Roy: ...Fine. We plead guilty.
"Wait...Wait a minute, hold on! Wait a minute. So there was no statement by the defense, no attorney appointed to the defense, no witnesses called, no evidence presented, nobody even bothered to notice that we literally got here four minutes and thirty-four seconds before we were arrested, and there wasn't even a jury? This is more rigged than even Saddam Hussein's trial!"
"The offender Miles O'Brien, human, officer of the Federation's Starfleet, has been found guilty of aiding and abetting seditious acts against the state. The sentence is death; let the trial begin."
Faithful. May I speak a few words in my own defence?
Judge Hate-Good. Sirrah! Sirrah! thou deservest to live no longer, but to be slain immediately upon the place; yet, that all men may see our gentleness toward thee, let us hear what thou, vile runagate, hast to say.
— John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
"A plea of innocence in my court is guilty of wasting my time! Guilty!"
— Lord Karamozov, Warhammer40000
I know I'm losing my appeal
Cause I was hung, drawn and quartered before my trial
And every single thing that's not real
Was put before the jury without the privilege of denial
Every single word that I said
Was written down and then misread
Now I find myself alone
I'm accused of being someone that I do not even know
— Adorable, "Kangaroo Court"
"Well, at best, they will put you on trial - or what seems to be one, then execute you. At worst, they will dispense with the courtroom mockery and execute you as soon as you step within the gate. And when I say "execute," do not think it will be one clean chop of a headsman's axe... Luskans have all sorts of inventive ways for executing prisoners that is not best to describe on a full stomach."
— Sand, Neverwinter Nights 2
Judge: Court is now in session!
Pianta: Mario is guilty.
Judge: Court adjourned!
Mario: Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
"It is as if twenty years after Yorktown somebody in power at Washington found it necessary for the safety of the State to send to the scaffold Thomas Jefferson, Madison, John Adams, Hamilton, Jay and most of their associates. The charge against them would be that they conspired to hand over the United States to George III."
— 1938 New York Times editorial about Stalin's purge of the Old Bolsheviks
Lawyer (to Candide): You are charged with communication with the Devil.
Very Old Inquisitor: Oh, come on. You always take too long. Guilty.
Lawyer: Just a minute, sir. We must observe certain legal, civil, and moral laws as written into the code of Western liberalism. (to Candide) Death by hanging.
— Candide (book by Lillian Hellman)