Saturday, April 16, 2022

Needed: Picture of Asian Men With Similar Although Not Identical Faces

 You may be aware of a California criminal case from the 20th century where a witness identified a Chinese-American as the criminal.  The defense attorney suddenly had the courtroom filled with Chinese men of similar height, weight, and hair style wearing identical clothes; the witness could not distinguish the defendant from the other Chinese men in the courtroom.  This phenomenon is because we notice how the common characteristics of different races tend to overwhelm the less dramatic differences, if we are of a different race.  I need a photograph showing a group of similarly dressed and age Asian men to demonstrate this phenomenon.

1 comment:

  1. I love these stories of cleverness.

    I understand that in the 1930's when Erle Stanley Gardner was still a practicing lawyer he had a Chinese family as a client in an immigration case and replaced the family with a different Chinese family in the home so when the INS or whatever the organization was called came to arrest them, they took the wrong people. I think a lease agreement would be necessary there.

    Way back when Rent Control in Santa Monica was new, Landlords everywhere were converting their rentals to condos. The Rent Control Board issued a regulation saying that when the owner vacated the condo for the demolition, it was no longer "owner occupied", and the Board then had jurisdiction to prevent the conversion. The lawyer I clerked for had a videographer (cameraman in those days) and a bulldozer go to the house Christmas Eve. The Rent Control Board called him December 26 screaming about how he was going to jail for demolishing the apartment building. He asked them, "What makes you think my client left the premises during the demolition?" BIG silence. He had film of the Landlord sitting in an easy chair wearing a hard-hat, holding a glass of wine while the building was demolished around him. A performance worthy of Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd.
    I have stories of clever process servers, too, but those may be for another time.