Matt Weinstock, April 25, 1960
April 25, 2010 | 3:50 pm
One of the most famous phrases from “Peanuts” was said by Lucy, of all characters.
Idea for Chessman
There was a brief but stirring encounter the other day between two long-time friends, J. Farrington Barrington Arrington, who retired undefeated as a police reporter with the demise of the Daily News, and A. Brigham Rose, the astute and flamboyant counselor, now of San Diego, during which Rose mentioned he'd been asked by the press there to comment on the Caryl Chessman case.
"I told them Chessman should try a writ of coram nobis," he said, "it's his only chance."
"Never heard of it," Mr. A. said.
"Coram nobis does not appear in any California statute book, it is in English common law," Rose said. "It is a complex proceeding and provides the only method whereby a person can go behind an affirmative judgment of the courts after all other legal remedies like habeas corpus have been exhausted."
"Will it cure a sore throat?" Mr. A. asked. "I got one."
"Coram nobis," Rose continued, ignoring the jibe, "is used to show there has been a miscarriage of justice or fraud in convicting a person. Only the Supreme Court can grant a writ of coram nobis; in fact, only the Supreme Court can say exactly what it is."
"Does it come in bottles or is it a pill?" Mr. A. pursued.
"You have to remember," Rose went on, "that Chessman is the only man ever sentenced to death in California for kidnap growing out of rape. But kidnap or restraint is inherent in rape, it is not a matter of the distance the victim is transported."
"Then habeas corpus is the wrong route for Chessman to take?"
"Absolutely. Habeas corpus in essence means a man has been or is being illegally detained. But that is not true with Chessman. He has had due process -- trial by jury, conviction and sentencing. Coram nobis is his last resort."
"Truly," Mr. A. said, "the law is a many-splendored thing."
ONLY IN L.A. -- City health department attaches have been on the lookout for a man selling sandwiches without a food handler's permit and a few days ago he was seen at 9th and Santee Sts. The gendarmes closed in and invited him to come along but their car wouldn't start. So there they were, the two officers and the culprit, pushing the car to get it started , jumping in when it took hold, then off to the jailhouse. Where else do you get cooperation like that?
A GROUP of coffee break philosophers I know get to talking about what good drivers everyone else was and settled on the three most inconsiderate motorists in rush hour traffic, excluding ruthless lane changers, who are the worst:
1- The slowpoke who doesn't follow closely enough to the car ahead and ties up those behind, making them miss synchronized signals.
2- The joker who never learned he should get in the curb lane to make a right turn, not block two lanes to do it
3- The clown who suddenly stops, without signaling, to make a left turn, causing those behind to jam on brakes.
A RESTAURANT on E 5th St. serves a full course meal for 45 cents. One man's explanation: "Over here on Skid Row we can't afford inflation."
If Uncle Sam would let me I could save a chunk of pelf
Deducting depreciation on my obsolescent self.
LANGUAGE MANGLERS irk Johnny Mack, for 20 year as radio announcer. He would like to remind sportscasters that a man is not five foot 11 inches tall, he is five feet 11 inches tall. As for those who say "Joe's in good shape tonight" Johnny points out that Esther Williams could have an appendectomy and still be in good shape but what about her condition?