The Law of Thanksgiving

Was thinking about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a little earlier, and made me realize that there has yet to be a treatise on the law of parades. One of my colleagues once wrote her torts exam about large balloons escaping and causing property damage. Or, perhaps more widespread, there is that oft-cited and always chilling “Parade of Horribles.” (makes me shudder just to think about it).

Further, my co-blogger at ContractsProf, Meredith Miller, has a great post up about the law of the turkey. In fact, she facetiously claims she will be writing an entire book on the topic:

The chapter on Turkeys and Criminal Law and Process will include People v. Chafford, 2007 WL 2751878 Cal.App. 1 Dist., Sept. 1, 2007) (no longer good for at least one point of law), which raises issues of prosecutorial misconduct based on the following statements made by a prosecutor during closing arguments:

“Now, reasonable doubt, I want to touch on that. Reasonable doubt was presented to you by Mr. Keller as some type of insurmountable burden. It’s not. It’s not only the same burden that’s used in this case, it’s the same burden or standard of proof that’s used in every criminal court in California and in the country. People are convicted beyond a reasonable doubt every day, so it is not this great insurmountable burden.

“It’s built into the system that we have … and as such, it’s always used as a defense. Crime wasn’t proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s always a defense to any criminal case. It’s kind of like you make the analogy: you can’t have Thanksgiving without turkey. Well, you can’t have a criminal trial without the defense being reasonable doubt. That’s just the way it is. It’s built right into the system. [emphasis added] * * *

“Ladies and gentlemen, reasonable doubt is there for a reason. It’s there to protect the innocent; it is not meant to be used as a legal loophole for the guilty. Remember that when you’re discussing reasonable doubt.”

Happy T-Day everyone. Cheers!

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