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The 5 Worst Legal Defenses Actually Attempted in Court

#2. Drug-Laced Loving

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If you know a lot of liars, like really prolific liars, you'll notice that they have a predictable approach to their lies. Because when it comes to lying, there are a couple of really good ways to pull them off. One is to be an honest and trustworthy person, someone so honest and so trustworthy that when you finally do pull a story straight out of your ass, people never question it. The other approach, the one that prolific liars tend to rely on since no one trusts them, is to finger-bang credulity in front of its parents with a smile. For whatever reason, accomplished liars will push the envelope with a lie eventually, and they will do so based on the belief, misplaced or otherwise, that their story is so ridiculous that it must clearly be true. Because you can't make this stuff up, folks. Or the truth is stranger than fiction. Or if they were lying, they'd make up a more believable story.

So Jon Goldin was a helicopter pilot with the NYPD. During a random drug screening, Goldin tested positive for cocaine and as a result lost his job. Goldin tried to fight this in court, insisting that he was totally straight edge and had never done cocaine in his life. So how does a straight-edge cop test positive for some of the ol' Bolivian Marching Powder? Mixed-up test? Bad batch of cola? Accidentally touched Ke$ha? Close! His official defense was that he must have ingested it, totally by accident, while performing oral sex on his girlfriend.

I'm going to use this entire paragraph to once again state that this cop's defense to testing positive for drugs was to say that he must have gotten it from going down on his girlfriend, because her vagina is apparently the back of a toilet tank in a 1980s LA nightclub.

Unsurprisingly, Goldin's kickass defense didn't go over with a judge, who I like to think gave him a fist bump for the effort before letting him know he was still totally and completely fired from the force.

Dozens of cops testified that Goldin was a good guy who never even drank coffee, let alone any booze when he was out at bars, and certainly never would have used drugs. However, it does stand to reason that the man didn't need to be getting high on coffee or blitzed on Jagerbombs if his girlfriend's special flower was laced with cocaine all the time.

#1. Too Fat

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You ever shoot a guy and then have to think of a clever reason to explain how you couldn't have shot that guy? In some circles this is called an alibi, but there is kind of a distinction here. An alibi isn't necessarily a reason why you couldn't have physically done it, it's evidence that it simply wasn't you who did it. You were literally somewhere else doing something else, people saw you and can vouch for you, that's your alibi. If you have no alibi, you can still come up with an excuse for why you couldn't have shot that guy. For instance, maybe you have no fingers. Hard to pull a trigger with no fingers. Maybe you're blind. You probably suck as a marksman if you're blind. And hey, maybe you're just super fatty bo-blatty. So super fatty bo-blatty that the very idea of you committing the crime that these slim, svelte police and lawyers are accusing you of is laughable. We call this (wait for it) the Fatty Bo-Blatty defense.

In Florida, because of course, Edward Ates was arrested and tried for the murder of his son-in-law. According to testimony, the son-in-law was shot from a staircase. Prosecution had evidence that Ates had his sister lie about the time he arrived at her house the day of the shooting, had bought a book on how to build a silencer, and had an Internet search history including pages on lock picking and how to commit the perfect murder. Ates countered this with the defense that, being 285 pounds, he clearly wouldn't have had the energy to both climb a staircase and shoot someone once he got up there.

It took a jury two days of deliberation to decide that they had enough faith in a fat man's ability to climb stairs without his heart exploding out of his chest like an alien embryo to have him convicted of the crime. As a final insult, Ates was required to pay for a second seat on a plane after his trial when he was flown back to Florida for sentencing.

That last part isn't true, but can't you imagine it being true? It so could have been true. Like if prisoners bought their own plane tickets. Whatever. He probably slimmed down in jail. Poor food there, I hear.

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Felix Clay

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