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Terrance Washington (courtesy

“Terrance Washington was on his way to Brooklyn Supreme Court on Nov. 26 to face an assault charge for allegedly breaking a man’s arm with a bat,” reports, “when a court officer operating a security X-ray machine detected the loaded .22-caliber handgun in his bag, court papers state. Washington, 41, was slapped with felony gun charges. But he was never indicted because the grand jury bought his excuse — that the bag wasn’t his and he didn’t know there was a gun inside, law-enforcement sources said. ‘He said it wasn’t his bag and he borrowed his cousin’s bag. That’s why the gun was in there,’ said a law-enforcement source.” Ignorance is no excuse under the law. Unless it is. Too bad Mr. Washington wasn’t a ham sandwich. Right? [h/t DD]

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  1. That’s “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, RF. If the elements of the offense include a “knowing” state of mind, ignorance of a particular fact could indeed be an excuse.

    • The cousin didn’t take the gun to court.
      As long as he had all the necessary NYC red tape to legally own a gun, there shouldn’t be an issue.

        • They’re talking about the cousin, no indication he’s a felon. And “prohibited person” possessing a weapon is a fed offense, NJ GJ wouldn’t be concerned with that.

        • Says, Grand Jury No Bills Convicted Killer. To me that indicates dude busted with gun. He blamed his cousin for loaning him a loaded bag.

    • That’s my question too. At the very least they charge the cousin with transferring the firearm. At most they charge with transferring to a felon-not sure if he is a felon. Remember this is a state that registers firearms so you can’t just give your cousin a gun

  2. It was his cousin’s bag? Wow. That’s inventive. It must have taken Mr. Washington a whole day to come up with that. It’s a thrilling variation on the “SODDI defense” — Some Other Dude Done It.

    • We called it the “Buck” defense when I was doing DWI-related license suspensions. Some arrestee at the suspension hearing said he let a fellow named “Buck”, previously completely unknown to him, drive his car, and him, home from the bar , but sadly, they didn’t make it before “Buck’s” erratic driving got them stopped by the Dallas law. More sadly, “Buck” somehow managed to completely disappear by the time the officers made the trip from their car to the defendant’s. The guy kept a straight face the whole time he was telling it, too…

    • A variation of the always hilarious “not my pants” defense.

      “Oh that weed? It’s not mine. Why was it in my pocket? Well, these aren’t my pants. Oh I don’t know, some guy.”

      “Some Guy” has warrants out in every state…

  3. Ignorance of the law should be an excuse, now that we have more pages of law than the Bible, Apocrypha, Qur’an, and several other holy books put together.

    I’d make a simple limit on federal law: they have to publish them once a year, and randomly pick a thousand people to read those laws and then take a multiple-choice test about them. ANy law no one gets rights is tossed, and the rest are ranked by failure. Taken the mean result, and that’s how many laws they get to keep; for example, if the mean score is 74%, then they run 74% of the way down the list starting with the best-known laws, and any found below that line are thrown out.

    • Ignorance of the law should be an excuse, now that we have more pages of law than the Bible, Apocrypha, Qur’an, and several other holy books put together.

      Bingo! +1

      There are so many laws that lawyers don’t know the law. Judges don’t know the law. Cops don’t know the law. But… regular citizens – no excuse people. No excuse.

    • i’ve had a better idea for that constitutional amendment:

      1) all legislation is to be single subject with intended purpose included in plain text. Eg. This legislation is intended to provide benefit “x” which should be realized by time period “y”

      2). all legislation should have a 5 year review, with an up down vote–

      3) with up vote . Immediate 2nd vote for option to amend, “Within purpose statement”.

      4) with down vote: immediate 2nd vote to amend (Including amend purpose statement) or simple strike the law.

      5) if 5 year review is not completed law automatically sunsets.

      I call it “Common Sense Legislation Control”

      • Do both — it’ll trim down the laws faster.

        I’ve heard more than a few Republicans assert that federal tax law ought to at least fit in a book no larger than the Bible. I don’t see why that shouldn’t just apply to all federal law, period

    • I fully support and agree with this suggestion. One almost needs counsel to walk down the street these days. Read recently the average American unknowingly commits 3 felonies per day. (which has been around a while apparently, and has probably risen)

      • Almost? The only reason folks don’t have attorney escort is the matter of cost. People who can afford it have attorneys at their beck and call 24/7, and they don’t do a lot of walking on public pavement.

  4. I have no problem with Mr. Washington’s assertion that the bag wasn’t his and he was not aware of it’s contents. Given Mr. Washington’s current dilemma and probable intelligence quotient, it is entirely possible that he actually took a bag to the supreme court without actually checking the contents of the bag.

    • Worthy?

      I don’t think that word means what you think it means…

      Worthy would be that guy who shot the guy who was robbing that bar in Texas and hauled ass outtathere before LE showed up…

  5. It looks like he has two holes in his head (above his left eye), so maybe he can use the brain damage defense. Or maybe God just gave him a couple of spare assholes to lie out of.

  6. Oh looks like he got one of those Lorcin L22’s, that’s 1 loud ass gun, also had he fired it he would have have fun chambering another round

  7. New York has case law on the books that states if you are in a room and there is a gun in that room, anyone in that room is presumed to be in possession of that gun and all present can be convicted of illegal possession even if they had no knowledge the gun was there.

    It appears the prosecutor did not explain the law well to the grand jury.

    • You don’t need to make crap up. There is no case law that says anything like that. If someone told you there was, actually read the case and I would bet you everything I own that it doesn’t say that.

      Don’t believe everything you read.


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