Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Now: I'll see you in court; (now I won't)

Making the court room more archaic than it already is.
  (+43, -1)(+43, -1)(+43, -1)
(+43, -1)
  [vote for,

I can think of two courtroom modifications that would make any trial a better experience for everyone concerned.

1) Have a revolving jury - instead of filing out, the entire jury bench could rotate 180 degrees so that they are replaced by a wooden panel. The room where they decide the verdict is on the other side of the wall. Just like in Blankety-Blank, or those fireplaces in haunted houses.

2) Trapdoor of the condemned - instead of being led out by guards, the convicted felon should fall through a trapdoor to a dungeon below. He could then be picked up by the guards 'backstage' and brought to prison.

I'm sure there are lots more wonderful modifications that could be made up to further embellish the legal system with quirky rituals.

stupop, Mar 19 2002


       The judge should drop down a fireman's pole. croissant to you see you in court. (your honour.)
po, Mar 19 2002

       With a "not guilty" verdict, balloons and confetti could drop from the ceiling and there should be an orchestra pit with full orchestra and a conductor to add an appropriate musical score to every trial...and...well, I'd personally like to see judges have to wear those lovely white, curly wigs....   

       yer honor
runforrestrun, Mar 19 2002

       puzzled - but they do wear white curly wigs - puzzled (well grey actually).
po, Mar 19 2002

       all speeches made in either rap form or iambic pentameter
po, Mar 19 2002

       the patented 'suspense' music before the verdict is announced would cause just the right amount of tension. a special little box for those found in contempt.
rbl, Mar 19 2002

       The closing argument be done in a big dance number with everyone in the audience get up and sing along. Points to the attonery on their performance.
bing, Mar 19 2002

       [stupop] had a more archaic court in mind, but I think we have turned it into a musical.
rbl, Mar 19 2002

       It would be good if, instead of passing it straight to the judge, the jury passed the verdict round the entire courtroom (except the defense) before it was announced. Anyone who failed to maintain a poker face could be held in contempt.
stupop, Mar 19 2002

       You always make sure a weapons rack is to hand for all those libel plantiffs planning to deploy their "swords of truth". Somewhere for Rifkin to put his claymores and/or pork pies.
Aristotle, Mar 19 2002

       Live Video feed to/from Prison Cell where Mongol is awaiting his new "Girlfriend"
thumbwax, Mar 20 2002

       Every 15 minutes the judge yells "rotate!" and everyone in the courtroom must get up and run to a different seat. The trial then resumes with everyone taking on the role determined by their new seating position. Judges could become jurors, jurors might become spectators, and baliffs might end up as defense attorneys. Keeps everyone on their toes.   

       Doesn't quite count as "archaic" but would certainly count as a quirky ritual.
PotatoStew, Mar 20 2002

       each witness gets asked a single question by a random person in the public gallery. afterall, their under oath...   

       "ohhh, where did you buy that suit" "why do you think he made such a demonstrable effort putting on a pair of gloves that obviously fit perfectly" "do you think the defense lawyer should lose weight" "whats the capital of peru"
mymus, Mar 20 2002

       does that include parking offences? Rods. Add litter offences and dog-fouling to that.
po, Mar 20 2002

       I like mymus' anno. I think that it would stand as an idea in it's own right.
DrBob, Mar 20 2002

       The whole witness examination process could be carried out according to "spin the bottle" rules. Gather all witnesses and potential witnesses and spin the bottle until the jury is satisfied. Judge, attorneys, bailiffs, jury members, and even people in the gallery must also answer if the bottle points to them.
beauxeault, Mar 20 2002

       beauxeault, thats a fantastic version. imagine how much the lawyers would be sweating if they were obliged to occasionally tell the truth. just the fear of it would help balance the number of new lawyers.   

       & "do you think your client is guilty, and why" to a defence lawyer would be fantastic to watch.
mymus, Mar 20 2002

       Stew, would the accused switch as well?
RayfordSteele, Mar 22 2002

       Alright, I've been quiet long enough! I can't let you make a mockery of the justice system and the courts.   

       And now said that, here is your croissant, and direct me to the ticket booth for season tickets! If the defendant laughs at the jester at any time, automatically found guilty!
dag, Mar 23 2002

       This dog'll hunt.   

       Giant LED backdrop for the judge:
Guilty! ,or
Not Guilty!

       When not spelling out the verdict, the backdrop could be used to provide historical underpinnings to ongoing arguments--mention the right to a speedy trial and there's Nathan Hale waving the Republic. Alternately, while in recess or with attorneys called aside to deliberate, the courtroom could be treated to a video tour of the Tower of London or Alcatraz.
reensure, Mar 23 2002

       defence lawyer: (singsong) "oh no he didn't"
jameStm, Mar 24 2002

       Shadow puppets, Sock puppets and Marionettes for reenactments - simultaneously - While the lawyer ventriloquises a "dummy".
thumbwax, Mar 24 2002

       I like some of the ideas in here...   

       but I have always thought... the following...   

       I dont trust these people (the jury) who will decide my fate...   

       I dont trust the average "Joe Smoe" off the street to know "whats what"...   

       So I here by invoke a "PJO" option for those being tried against the whole "jury of your peers" thing (Which never really made much sense to me becuase you never know the jury personally).   

       I would choose to have a Proffesional Jury Option...   

       these proffesional people whos job it is to sniff out liars and think real indepth about the important things and use their advanced experience to make decisions, etc...   

       I think there should be a "PJO" option...   

       any comments... I am really interested in what you may think about this...
oxygon, Mar 24 2002

       in the UK, the jury is instructed to only return a guilty verdict if, in most cases, all 12 jurors are 100% certain of the accused's having committed the offence. "if there is any doubt in your mind then you must return a non-guilty verdict" It is my experience that most juries prefer to err on the side of caution and therefore, the offender often escapes his proper punishment. no the jury option is by far the best.
po, Mar 24 2002

       Ala family feud, the two attorneys face off at a podium, one hand behind their backs. A question is proposed. Both attorneys must smack the buzzer to answer first.
k_sra, Jan 27 2004

       The judge has two buttons, one that goes "Ding!" and one that goes "BUZZZZZ!" (used instead of saying "sustained" or "overruled" to objections.)
phundug, Jan 27 2004

       Don Pardo would announce the sentence if the defendant is quilty.   

       Judge: Don, tell him what he's won!
Don: You've won an all expense paid trip to prison! You'll be taken by smelly old bus up the river to the historic prison of Sing-Sing. You'll enjoy a 7300 day, 7301 night stay in a cramped cell overlooking the fabulous license plate factory. You'll enjoy instutionional cooking, ankle cuffs, and forced sodomy.
GenYus, Jan 27 2004

       I always wondered why the jury had no real say in the trial. The can't ask question, etc. But yet they are the ones deciding the fate of the person on trial. So maybe you should have the jury be able to question the witnesses as well as the attorneys at anytime they have a question or don't understand something.   

       But other thatn that I have to give this a croissant!!
babyhawk, Jan 27 2004

       I just *love* [k_sra]'s idea:
"Where was the accused on the night of the 17th?"
"At home, with the wife"
"At home with the wife - let's see. At home with the wife - our survey says..." bzzt-bzzt
PeterSilly, Jan 27 2004

       [Po], they wear the wigs because when the court first came about in England, and all this stuff started - the honerable gentlemen wore wigs to hide their lice - as did everyone... everyone ekse stopped when the lice problem was brought under control, nobody in English courts did though because by then it had become an icon of the courts. They are grey because most Judges were once Barristers.. and once you get your wig you never wash or leave it anywhere - to become a high court judge takes decades... Most barristers (when they first get their wigs) kick it around the garden to dirty it up a bit...
Ossalisc, Jan 27 2004

       [oxygon]: It's a nice idea, and I think it would make a lot of sense in many trials, but I also see it providing some hideous opportunities for nobbling the result and getting some serious corruption on the go. Try 'Runaway Jury' for starters...
oldmotherchaos, May 10 2005

       [po], in the UK it only takes a majority of 10-2 to get a conviction for almost every crime.   

       I like the idea of the pit for the condemned. How about extending it so that whichever attorney loses would also be fall through a trap door?
hidden truths, May 10 2005

       Except in Scotland, with her fifteen-man juries, where a simple majority is all that's required. To balance that, we have the internationally envied "Not Proven" verdict.
calum, May 10 2005

       I'd like to see the lawyers making their closing statements whilst breathing helium.
TolpuddleSartre, May 10 2005

       funny stuff, brings new meaning to "kangaroo court"
dentworth, May 10 2005

       [dentworth] You're right - we simply don't have enough marsupials in our legal process. At least in the UK - dunno about other parts of the world.
TolpuddleSartre, May 10 2005

       A scoreboard? Objections Sustained, Objections Overruled, etc.
Commentators and Instant replay? Commentator: "Let's look at that again, John. You can see right here during the question that the witness' face begins to flush"
"That's the most amazing job of leading the witness I've seen in my entire career, Pat. Why isn't the defense objecting?"
Very tall hats for baliffs would be cool, also.
Zimmy, May 10 2005

       But that's because very tall hats are cool. Perhaps if the judge had to wear a really tall hat with a wig on the top.
hidden truths, May 10 2005

       Is that your final verdict?   

       [cue dramatic shift in lights]
ye_river_xiv, Mar 25 2007

       Just about everything in this idea and annos should be made into a broadway show.
Feba, Mar 25 2007

       hehe, Halloween court!! +
xandram, Oct 16 2009

       I'd volunteer for jury duty if we baked this.
normzone, Oct 16 2009

       Plenty of ideas here for a Batman tried by the Joker script/film. Over the top justice indeed.
popbottle, Jun 01 2017

       Po's suggestion of iambic pentameter is good, but so would be tetrameter:   

       __Judge's summing up__   

       You heard him say he won't admit,   

       If true, it's best to now to acquit,   

       His mother said he was with her   

       If so, the charge would be a slur   


       But maybe you can visualise,   

       That (like as not) his tale is lies,   

       That he was genuinely busted,   

       and you think he can't be trusted   


       Maybe his mum is on his side,   

       And possibly she may have lied,   

       Those other witness tales are true   

       If so then they may convince you   


       The jury's task is very serious,   

       But isn't actually that mysterious,   

       This awful crime is very evil,   

       It then needs you to make it penal   


       This really was a dreadful crime,   

       without a doubt he'd do some time.   

       Unless you have good cause to doubt,   

       Please bang him up, not let him out
bhumphrys, Apr 13 2020


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