So you are a prosecutor. Congratulations! And you are prosecuting actual criminals who seem to have done bad things! Also congratulations! You should be very proud of yourself. What you should not do, ever, though, is do what Canyon County (Idaho) Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin did and decide that it would be a great idea to recite the lyrics from “Dixie” (yes, that “Dixie,” the really racist old South “Dixie”) in your closing argument when you are prosecuting an African-American defendant.
In the ruling, which is dated Dec. 19, the court quoted Kallin as having told jurors: “Ladies and gentlemen, when I was a kid we used to like to sing songs a lot. I always think of this one song. Some people know it. It’s the Dixie song. Right? ‘Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton. Good times not forgotten. Look away. Look away. Look away.’ And isn’t that really what you’ve kind of been asked to do?”
You will be unsurprised to learn that the verdict was tossed out.
We should point out that reciting the lyrics to “Dixie” in your closing argument is equally stupid, though significantly less racist and awful, with a non-African-American defendant, mainly because WHAT ON EARTH DOES DIXIE HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?
According to the prosecutor, this whole thing was somehow the fault of the public defender, really.
Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker…said Kallin originally planned to use more common metaphors such as “smoke and mirrors” and “red herring” during her closing argument but changed her mind after Kirk’s defense attorney used the same metaphors.
Yes, because no defense attorney has ever referred to a prosecutor’s case as “smoke and mirrors” or a “red herring” in a closing argument before. Definitely can see where that would catch you unaware and you’d need to toss out your entire closing in favor of a super-racist song. How on earth did you come up with this idea?
Kallin had recently heard another prosecutor use the “Dixie” lyrics during a closing argument in a different county, Decker said.
Great, so this sort of stupidity is endemic to Idaho apparently.
Oh, and thanks to the miracle of modern technology, you can listen to this prosecutor humiliate herself as it happened.
[Post image from Shutterstock]