Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Kangaroo Court

Go To

Real Life

"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."
Gore Vidal on the Red Scare.

"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

From beginning to end the trial was such a parody of justice that it would be insulting to marsupials even to call it a kangaroo court.
Death Plus Ten Years, by Roger Cooper.


♫ "Justice is swift in the court of miracles;
I am the lawyers and judge all in one!
We 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"

"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."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Drumhead"

"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."

"We will now deliberate and return with a guilty verdict."
Judith Draper, 3rd Rock from the Sun

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.
Judge 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

Fielding Mellish: 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!
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: Okay, I just wanted to make sure you were getting it.

"Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case."

Mayor: Court Stenographer, please stenography that we're starting the trial now.
Public Defender: There isn't a stenographer, your honor. Or a bailiff. Or a prosecutor. Or any of the personnel required to have a legal trial in this state, or any known democracy for that m-
Mayor: You are on fire today, counsellor! Accused, you're lucky to have this guy!
Team Fortress 2, Unhappy Returns

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.
X: (spiteful) 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.
The X-Files, "The Truth"

"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 (King Koopa), 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?
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, about the hanging of an eight-year-old boy.

"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), me, and the kangaroos!
Superman #349, "The Turnabout Trap!" (1980)

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 Saddam Hussein's trial!"

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, Warhammer 40,000

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."

Judge: 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.
Candide (book by Lillian Hellman)

Scarface: The prosecutor is ready, likewise our fair and impartial jury.
Mad Hatter: Hang him.
Harley Quinn: Shoot him!
Killer Croc: Hit him with a rock!!!
Scarface: And now, all rise for the most honorable, most benevolent, most merciful Judge Joker!
The Joker: Guilty!

Hacker: I want to trace the culprit.
Sir Humphrey: Yes, Prime Minister.
Hacker: And I want a prosecution.
Sir Humphrey: Yes, Prime Minister.
Hacker: And I want a conviction.
Sir Humphrey: (pause) We can try and trace the culprit, we can prosecute, but under the present political system, there are problems about the government actually guaranteeing a conviction.
Hacker: A little drinkie with the judge?
Sir Humphrey: It's unthinkable. There is no way any pressure can be placed on a British judge.
Hacker: Well how does one secure a conviction?
Sir Humphrey: Well simple, you find a judge who won't need any pressure put on him.
Hacker: Oh.
Sir Humphrey: A quiet word with the Lord Chancellor, find a judge who's hoping to be made a Lord of Appeal, and then leave justice to take her own impartial and majestic course.
Hacker: And that does the trick?
Sir Humphrey: Well not always. Sometimes they're so obviously trying for a conviction, that the jury acquits out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

"You're on trial today for the crimes that you've committed. We're gonna prove ya guilty! Just try and get acquitted."

"I had reached my verdict on the Feldenstein case before I ever came into the courtroom. I would have found him guilty whatever the evidence. It was not a trial at all. It was a sacrificial ritual in which Feldenstein the Jew was the helpless victim."
Ernst Janning, Judgment at Nuremberg

Riq IV: Operating an unregistered portal gun, radicalizing a Summer, conspiring with a traitorous Rick. How do you plead?
Morty: How is this a fair trial? Our lawyer is a Morty!
Riq IV: It's not fair, you have no rights, and he's not a lawyer. We just keep him here because he's fun.
Rick and Morty, "The Rickshank Redemption"

The Tamriel legal system has its basis in the civilized, reasonable credo uttered by the prophet Marukh in the first era: "All are guilty until they have proven themselves innocent." Were truer word ever spoke?
Anchivius, M.Z.F., in the book Legal Basics from The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

Well, fine. If that's the way you're going to be, I'll save you the trouble of finishing your kangaroo court's vote. Effective immediately— I quit.

Oh and by the way, the "trial" the Autobots are given is pretty screwed up. Once the Autobots arrive the judge tells them what they're accused of and then immediately sentences them. Shouldn't the Autobots get a chance to defend themselves?

"In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims - and they do testify, the children certainly do testify. As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions. Therefore, what is left for a lawyer to bring out?"
Judge Danforth, The Crucible


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: