Legal Quandary

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Who Says Lawyers Are Bad at Math?!

Not the New York Court of Appeals.

The question...was whether a man named James Robbins was guilty of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school - which carries a longer sentence....

The nearest school, Holy Cross, is on 43rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. How to measure? On foot...the school is more than 1,000 feet away from the site of the arrest, because the shortest route is blocked by buildings. But as the crow is less than 1,000 feet away.

Law enforcement officials calculated the straight-line distance using the Pythagorean theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) measuring the distance up Eighth Avenue (764 feet) as one side of a right triangle, and the distance to the church along 43rd Street (490 feet) as another, to find that the length of the hypotenuse was - 907.63 feet.

Lawyers for Mr. Robbins argued that the distance should be measured as a person would walk it because "crows do not sell drugs." But in a unanimous ruling, the seven-member Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and held that the distance in such cases should be measured as the crow flies.

As an attorney, you should know you're in trouble when your client's best argument is that "crows do not sell drugs."

Also, somewhere there's a bunch of 7th Grade Algebra teachers who are very proud.

Who says you never use algebra in the real world!!! Is a court a part of the real world?
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