May-June 2016

A roundup of notable quotables

“I’m sorry it happened, but I’m not going to sit here and boo-hoo about it.”

—Texas Death Row inmate Coy Wesbrook, who was executed in March for the 1997 murders of five people, including his ex-wife, to an Associated Press reporter a few days before his execution. (


“I could be fair, but you need to know, sir, that I have a philosophical difference against folks who want to steal other people’s stuff.”

—a potential juror on a Smith County robbery case, to the defense attorney during voir dire. (Submitted by Taylor Heaton, Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Smith County)


“The great joy of being a prosecutor is that you don’t take whatever case walks in the door. You evaluate the case; you make your best judgment; you only go forward if you believe that the defendant is guilty. You may well be wrong, but you have done your best to ensure that as far as the evidence that you are able to attain, the person is guilty. … I think there is no greater job anybody can have than having been a prosecutor.”

—U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 1995. He was responding to a question before the Senate Judiciary Committee about which of his past jobs had best prepared him for the U.S. Court of Appeals’ Washington D.C. Circuit, for which he was then nominated. He was confirmed for the court of appeals in 1997 and will soon go before the committee again, this time for his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. (


“We don’t want anything sinister to go on with it either. It’s just made for mainstream America, not criminal enterprise.”

—Kirk Kjellberg, CEO of Ideal Conceal, a Minnesota start-up company that sells a double-barrel .380-caliber handgun that, when folded, looks like a cell phone. Kjellberg was inspired to create it when he was greeted with stares and a scared remark from a little boy while walking to a restaurant’s bathroom with his lawfully permitted gun. (


“Well, I do love shish kebab, but I don’t think I can accept gifts just for doing my job.”

—Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Twitter to his followers, many of whom are Turks offering the New York prosecutor thank-you gifts, such as shish kebab and carpets, for pursuing “American justice” against Iranian-Turkish Reza Zarrab. Zarrab is a well-known figure in Turkey because of his involvement and arrest in a complicated, high-level Turkish government corruption case in 2013. Though those charges were dropped, he and two others are now charged in the U.S. with conspiring to process hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions for Iranian businesses or Iran’s government—transactions that are banned by U.S. and international sanctions. (


“It’s not so much that losers toke weed. It’s that toking a lot of weed over several years turns someone into a loser.”

—George Skelton, political reporter for the Los Angeles Times, in a March column about a recent University of California–Davis study. That study showed that persistent pot users experience “downward social mobility and more financial problems” than those who don’t smoke regularly. (