another chorizo omelette, braised mustard greens, and this:
irving bietelbrg, the lawyer for a felon named willie francisco, was on tiptoes on the other side of the bench, peering over and trying to get a word in. the defendant himself, francisco, fat, twenty-two, wearing a wispy moustache and a red-and-white striped sport shirt, was on his feet yelling at bietleberg: “yo! hey! yo!”. three court officers were positioned to the sides and rear of willie, in case he got too excited. they would have been happy to blow his head off since he had killed a cop without batting an eye. the cop had apprenended him when he came running out of an optician’s with a pair of porsche suncgasses in his hand. porsche sunglasses were much admired in the morrisania section of the bronx, because they cost $250 a pair, and had the name porsche etched in white on the upper rim of the left lens. willie had gone into the optician’s with a forged medicaid prescription for glasses and announced he wanted the porsches. the clerk said he couldn’t have them because medicaid wouldn’t reimburse the store for glasses that cost that much. so willie grabbed the porsches and ran out and shot the cop.
it was a true piece of shit, this case, and an open-and-shut piece a shit, and jimmy caughey hadn’t even had to breathe hard to win it. but then this weird thing had happened. they jury had gone out yesterday afternoon and after six hours had returned without reaching a verdit. this morning meldnick was plowing through his calendar session when the jury sent in word they had reached a verdict. they came filing in, and the verdict was guilty. bietelberg, just doing the usual, asked that the jury be polled. “guilty,” “guilty,” “guilty,” said one and all until the clerk got to an obese old white man, lester mcguigan, who also said “guilty” but then looked into the porscheless eyes of willie francisco and said: “i don’t feel absolutely right about it, but i guess i have to cast a vote, and that’s the way i cast it.”
willie francisco jumped up and yelled “mistrial!” even before bietelberg could yell it - and after that all was confusion. meldnick wrapped his forearms around his head and summoned steadman, and that was where things stood. jimmy caughey couldn’t believe it. bronx juries were notoriously unpredictable, but caughey had figured mcguigan was one of the solid rocks. not only was he white, he was irish, a lifetime bronx irishman, who would certainly know that anyone named jimmy caughey was a worthy young irishman himself. but mcguigan had turned out to be an old man with time on his hands who thought too much and waxed too philosophical about things, even the likes of willie francisco.
tom wolfe, from bonfire of the vanities