Monday, October 09, 2006

art/life imitates life/art

A Literary Conflict of Interest by TChris

A prosecutor got herself tossed from a case because its facts were too similar to those of a crime novel she'd authored and was promoting at the time of the prosecution. The defense raised a "novel" question in seeking her disqualification.

In January, Joyce Dudley, a deputy district attorney in Santa Barbara, published a crime novel called "Intoxicating Agent." Its heroine, Jordon Danner, has the same initials and the same job as Ms. Dudley, and the novel concerns a rape case with echoes of a real one. In both, the victim said she had been sexually assaulted after being given an intoxicating drug. ...

"She has a disabling conflict of interest," Justice Kenneth R. Yegan of the California Court of Appeal wrote of Ms. Dudley for a unanimous three-judge panel. Ms. Dudley must be disqualified, Justice Yegan continued, because the defendant, Massey Haraguchi, "is being prosecuted for raping an intoxicated person while the prosecutor is promoting her novel involving the identical charge."

Justice Yegan wrote that Ms. Dudley's desire for money and fame might tempt her to throw the book at the defendant, as it were.

Vanity Fair on Hatfill:
No less interesting to me, as a professor of English literature, was Hatfill's unpublished novel, Emergence, which I examined in Washington at the U.S. Copyright Office. In the book, an Iraqi virologist launches a bioterror attack on behalf of an unnamed sponsor, using an identity acquired from the Irish Republican Army and a homemade sprayer like the one Steven J. Hatfill demonstrated for The Washington Times. A fictional scientist named Steven J. Roberts comes to the rescue, tracing the outbreak to Iraq. The Strangelovean novel ends with America nuking Baghdad. As the warheads fall, the pilot remarks, "Beautiful . . . just beautiful. Welcome to Fuck City, Ragheads! Let"s get the hell out of Dodge."
Hatfill's novel, however, has a surprise ending. In a three-page epilogue, the narrator, a Russian mobster, reveals that his own organization, not Iraq, is responsible for the bioterror attack:

"The reaction was as great as we had hoped for the entire focus of the American F.B.I. has now shifted towards combating chemical/ biological terrorism and this is allowing us to formulate the unprecedented expansion of our organization."
The ink was hardly dry on Emergence when the government hired Hatfill, now working for S.A.I.C., to commission a paper from Bill Patrick focusing on how to respond to a biological terror event.
"i shall refrain from commenting on any art/life imitates life/art, just y'know, cause. "


rimone said...

*snigger* nah, fuck it: LOLOLOLOLOL!

lukery said...

thought you might like that one...