“Will Work for Weed” T-Shirts, Zoot Suits, and Other Things You Shouldn’t Wear to Court

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
Oct. 28 2013 1:00 PM

“Will Work for Weed” T-Shirts, Zoot Suits, and Other Things You Shouldn’t Wear to Court

169460110
Seriously, you should not wear either of these shirts to court.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, in a story about a convicted arsonist who wore a “Snitches Get Stitches” T-shirt to his sentencing hearing, I encouraged readers to get in touch if they had any good stories about inappropriate courtroom attire. Well, tasteless apparel is apparently a Hot Topic, because I heard from a lot of you. Here are some of the best responses.

Sending the wrong message. “I'm a public defender—I won't say where—and had a client come to court for a violation of probation hearing. The main issue with his probation was that he still owed about $1,000 in restitution for an old theft conviction, and was intending to claim that he was completely destitute and unable to make any payments to the victim in the case.

Advertisement

“Of course he came to court with two large diamond earrings, brand-new sneakers, and designer jeans. It’s likely the diamonds were fakes and the sneakers and jeans were knock-offs, but, as I explained to him before making a motion to postpone the hearing on a technicality that was eventually granted without him actually being present in the courtroom, attempting to give off the appearance of wealth at a hearing when you're trying to claim complete poverty might not be the wisest choice …”

An unreliable witness. “As a criminal defense attorney, I had a client convicted based on the testimony of a witness wearing a T-shirt emblazoned ‘Will work for weed.’ The conviction was later overturned.”

Truth in advertising. “A few summers ago I was observing criminal court as an intern with the prosecutor’s office. A defendant was called up for a trial scheduling matter and I noticed he had a T-shirt that read: ‘Please do not disturb—I'm disturbed enough already.’ Intrigued, I took a peek at the docket sheet to see what he was charged with. Appropriately enough, it was a child pornography case.”

The world needs to know! “I was pleased that my client had support in court when she pled guilty and was sentenced, but it might have been better if her girlfriend hadn't worn the ‘vaginas are awesome’ T-shirt.”

State v. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. “My wife, an attorney in Florida, had a client who asked what he should wear to his court hearing. She told him to wear what he would wear to church, not a bad idea. He arrived at court wearing a bright yellow zoot suit, complete with the knee-length jacket, matching wide brimmed hat, an ankle-length silver chain attached to his wallet, a white patent leather belt, and shiny white leather shoes. The judge was not amused. Now she tells clients to dress like they are going to a funeral.”

Got more stories? Send ‘em my way at justintrevett@fastmail.fm.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.