"Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
— Cardinal Richelieu
"All this humiliating business was made worse by the rise of Senator Joe McCarthy. Yet, to be fair, McCarthy could never have flourished had it not been for Harry S. Truman's mandatory loyalty oaths for all government workers because the Russians were coming, and we must root out their agents wherever they may be and a crypto-commie, if he swore falsely, would, everyone knew, crumble to ashes."
"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
"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!"
"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."
"The verdict is guilty, the sentence is death. Let the trial begin."
"We will now deliberate and return with a guilty verdict."
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.
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."
"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!"
Mulder: I'm putting the truth on trial.
X: What truth? Who's truth? You think these men will even hear it?
Mulder: They're afraid to hear it.
They're not afraid. They have too much power to be afraid. You're going to learn that, just like I did. You'll die learning it.
"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."
"Koopa Court is now in session! Bailiff Mouser, read those phony charges you and I cooked up!"
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?
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."
When next we meet
, Superman, it'll be in "court
"! Superman: (thinking)
Yes...you, me, and the kangaroos
: 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"
: 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."
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.
"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."
: Court is now in session! Pianta
: Mario is guilty. Judge
: Court adjourned! Mario
: Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
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.
(book by Lillian Hellman)
"You're on trial today for the crimes that you've committed. We're gonna prove ya guilty! Just try and get acquitted."