Boredom and the Law

I found evidence that, some time ago, a person needed to be careful not to bore his audience: “A barrister made a long speech in the course of which a boy fell asleep in the gallery and fell into the well of the court and broke his neck. At common law the instrument with which a murder was committed was forfeited to the Crown. Hence the indictment had to charge and the jury had to find its value. The barrister was indicted in the Circuit Grand Court for murder with a certain dull instrument, to wit, a long speech of no value” (Pound, Roscoe. 1953. The Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times.) Alas, the crime goes unpunished today.


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