Quick Comeback

–From Caleb K. Aguillard, Louisiana State University Law Center, Date of event: Fall 2003

My story is from the fall semester of 2003. As it was my first semester, my section was taking Criminal Law and happened to be involved in a complicated discussion of sexual assault. In the instant case, it was explained to us that while perpetrating the crime in question, the would-be perpetrator was unable to “perform.” One of the more intelligent 1Ls in our class asked if that could be considered attempt. Seizing the moment, another chimed in, “Wouldn’t that be like pulling the trigger of an unloaded gun?” But before the stunned class could react, our professor replied, “Oh, it was loaded, just not cocked.”

McClurg footnote: Obviously, there’s nothing funny about sexual assault. The professor’s remark doesn’t strike me as making light of the crime, but let me know if you feel otherwise.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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