Johnny America


Tom Conoboy Knows the An­swers # 4


Tom Conoboy, whose de­sign­er pants cra­dle his ass like a or­ange in its peel, and whose claims to have been a li­brar­i­an are sus­pi­cious as he nev­er cites sources, oc­ca­sion­al­ly agrees to an­swer the queries of the J. A. staff and en­tourage. The fol­low­ing is his lat­est wisdom.

Q: On the tele­vi­sion sit­u­a­tion com­e­dy Night Court star­ring Har­ry An­der­son, crim­i­nals (main­ly pros­ti­tutes, if I re­mem­ber cor­rect­ly) were brought in im­me­di­ate­ly — at night, when they were os­ten­si­bly ar­rest­ed — to ap­pear be­fore the court. Is there such a thing as a late-night or 24-hour court?

A: Late-night, 24 hour courts are a new fad im­posed by gov­ern­ments in an at­tempt to look tough on crime (tough on the caus­es of crime.) Late night UK ses­sions were pi­lot­ed in 2002 in Man­ches­ter (be­cause be­ing Man­cun­ian is, in it­self, on­ly a short step away from be­ing a crime) and in Bow Street Mag­is­trates Court in Lon­don. This was main­ly to ac­com­mo­date Japan­ese tourists who, as part of their hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence, want­ed to pho­to­graph each oth­er be­ing ar­raigned and sent down in the sec­ond most fa­mous court in the whole of Eng­land (the Old Bai­ley be­ing re­served for pure­ly do­mes­tic mis­car­riages of justice.)

Nat­u­ral­ly, with Prime Min­is­ter Blair show­ing how tough he is, his old chum Pres­i­dent Bush had to show an even tougher face, and the era of the Amer­i­can dri­ve-thru, free fries af­ter 3 am, dou­ble jeop­ardy our spe­cial­i­ty, 24 hour, hang ‘em high court ser­vice was born.

Some sources sug­gest that, due to phe­nom­e­nal and ris­ing crime lev­els, the ser­vice was first es­tab­lished in Mid­town North Precinct, close to the New York home of Nao­mi Camp­bell, but this is prob­a­bly a scur­rilous rumour.

Filed under Tom Conoboy Knows the Answers on February 18th, 2007

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Reader Comments

Janet Loewenstein wrote:

Re: night court
I seem to re­call a night court be­ing es­tab­lished in mid­town Man­hat­tan in one of the ear­ly years I lived there, some­time be­tween 1988 and 1991. The pur­pose was to ex­pe­dite ar­raign­ments so the city could keep to a guar­an­teed 24 hour ar­raign­ment period.

Derek Gray wrote:

Sad­ly, Sideshow has closed its doors and Mr. An­der­son has left New Or­leans last summer.

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