News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Death-row inmate Daniel Acker’s court-appointed lawyer, 26-year veteran Toby Wilkinson, filed a writ of habeas corpus for his client in 2003 that consisted largely of verbatim text from an earlier letter that Acker himself had written to the judges, including this passage: “I’m just about out of carbon paper. As soon as I get some more typing supplies I have about 30 more errors I wanted (noted) in my appeal.” (Wilkinson was paid $22,270 for “writing” the writ.) However, in November 2006, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied the writ, satisfied that it raised no issues not resolved in Acker’s 2000 trial.
Last summer, a British Passport Office in Sheffield turned down the application for Hannah Edwards, 5, because her mother had submitted a photograph showing Hannah from the neck up, as prescribed, but wearing a sunsuit that left her shoulders bare. The Passport Office said that Hannah’s exposed skin might be offensive in a Muslim country. (That decision was later overruled, according to a report in London’s Daily Telegraph.)
Also in Britain, the Robert Walters employment agency notified its offices in October that the words “vibrant,” “dynamic,” “ambitious,” “energetic,” “experienced” and 17 others must not be used in recruiting ads, lest the company risk lawsuits for age discrimination.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD