Why the City of Charming always got along with the Sons of Anarchy


This last weekend Joan and I engaged in a guilty pleasure.

We binge watched the last season of the Sons of Anarchy. That’s the one where almost everyone in the mythical biker gang dies a violent and bloody death. It was great and glorious fun.

It reminded me of the time I spent with the Hells Angels, the bug in the bathroom and the shy kindness displayed to me by the “biker chicks” in the elevator as we rode together up to the big courtroom on the ninth floor of the old Omaha federal building. See here. But, I digress, sorta.

Tamara Tabo, an excellent writer and a very smart and interesting lawyer and law teacher, has a new post over at Mimesis Law entitled The Mess in Waco: How Prosecuting Almost 200 Bikers Crushes the System & Costs Taxpayers Big Time (June 11, 2015). It is a fascinating read, especially if you are a legal realist.

The screwed up situation in Waco brings to mind the City of Charming in Sons of Anarchy. In movie life, the City had reached detente with the bikers because to do otherwise would be both stupid and too expensive on a whole number of fronts. Whoever decided in Waco to go after all the bikers because of the deadly brawl instead of being selective simply did not understand that when you overwhelm a judicial system it is the poor goof in the cul-de-sac who ends of up paying through the nose. And then there is that bitchy question of justice. As someone once said, if you can’t afford justice you don’t deserve it–and that’s where Waco finds itself now.



11 responses

  1. Hanging with the Hell’s Angels, “biker chicks,” and a Sons of Ananrchy affecionado. Is there no end to the fascination?

    I just wish that there was a way to conjure you up out here as a judge for a few cases. Why should Nebraska get you all to itself?

  2. “Bennett estimated a possible price tag of $8.5 million, factoring “a meager $50,000 per case times 170 cases.”

    I need to move to Texas

  3. ECL,

    Thanks a lot. I should have linked to the video.

    By the way, the scene in prison where Juice (played by Theo Rossi) tells law enforcement and the prosecutor that they just don’t get it, and things are hopeless, deserves an Emmy.

    I also marevelled at the scene where the shot-caller of the Aryan Brotherhood, Ron Tully (played by, who else, Marilyn Manson), whispers a loving and heartfelt compliment to Juice just before he slices Juice’s carotid in the prison dining hall. Juice, of course, knows it is coming, and welcomes the release.

    Juice tells Tully just before his death, “You know what, I’m exhausted. I’ve told everybody what I’ve had to tell them. I’ve gotten everything off my chest. My conscience is clear. It’s now time to end the madness. I’m done. This is it. I just want to finish my pie and let’s just end this.”

    All the best.


  4. Anonymous,

    I have done 5 years of therapy. My last therapist quit, and went to law school. What the hell does that tell you?

    All the best.


  5. And while I’m not a doctor, nor did I stay at the Holiday Inn, I am a lawyer. I counsel people for a living.

    By the way I like the show as well. What’s wrong with us?

  6. Judge, you are, as usual, too kind. Thank you for sharing my piece.

    Perhaps your interest in biker culture suggests a new hobby and a future memoir. “From Black Robes to Black Leather: The Richard Kopf Story,” perhaps? I’d buy a copy.

    Just make a wide berth around Waco.

  7. Tamara,

    What a great title. I love it.

    You are a wonderful writer,and an independent thinker with a good sense of humor, sometime ribald (which makes it all the better). Keep it up.

    All the best.


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